Fr. Scott’s Corner – Put Love Into Practice

Fr. Scott’s Corner – Put Love Into Practice

There is an old story about a man named Brendan who was unemployed, but fortunate enough to get an interview for a position with a new company. However, Brendan tended to run late for all his appointments. And sure enough, on the day of the interview, he was running late. He quickly showered, got dressed, and jumped into the car to head downtown. But traffic was a mess. As Brendan approached the office building, he began to sweat as he could not find a parking spot anywhere. He began to pray, “God, if you help me find a parking place, I promise I will never miss Sunday Mass again!” Miraculously, a parking space suddenly appeared. Upon seeing this, Brendan looked up to heaven and said out loud, “Never mind!”

Fr. Scott's Corner - The Lord Upholds My Life

Jesus rallies against those who simply pay lip service to God and those who perform all the right religious customs but truly have no conversion in their hearts. In Jesus’s time, being a good and faithful Jew meant following more than 600 commandments, rules, and regulations. Every moment of the day had a rule about how one ought to live from the moment they got out of bed to the moment they went to sleep. There were rules and prayers for preparing food, washing dishes, and doing work. But Jesus challenged those who followed the letter of the law and performed all the prescribed practices but failed to live their lives out of love.

Jesus’s two great commandments were to love God and to love your neighbor.

Jesus’s two great commandments were to love God and to love your neighbor. He stated that all the things found in these over 600 rules and the teachings of the great prophets could be summed in these two simple, yet difficult commandments. St. James reminds us that love put into practice means caring for orphans and widows and reaching out to help our brothers and sisters in need. There is one gift all of us can offer to those in need regardless of our financial situation—our prayers.

We are reminded by Jesus that evil comes from the deep recesses of a hardened heart. He calls for the conversion of our hearts to become ones filled with love and compassion. It is not enough to simply say that we have converted, as Brendan tried to do. As we gather this month to celebrate the Eucharist, let us pray together that Jesus will continue to bring his love and peace into our lives and our hearts. Then we can take what has been freely given to us to, and in turn, give to others!

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