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Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Reflecting on Matthew 10: 37-42

Here’s the problem: how do we love God more than any of our earthly loves—-parents, spouses, children—when God became flesh and dwelt among us? In other words, we’ve learned to love the God who “has flesh on.” Because of the Incarnation, we see Christ in other people, and in the working of the Holy Spirit in the world.

How, then, do we hold the love we have for God in a higher place than the love we have for the people in whom we find God? I might have a small idea, and it had to do with one of the shattering effects of the quarantining we have all experienced.

It turns out that too much togetherness for some unions has exposed the weaknesses that have existed from the beginning, but were put mightily to the test when there was no outside distraction. I read about these tensions because I have way too much time to waste on the internet.

It seems like the basic (and hardest) skills of daily forgiveness and forbearance, which the Church tries hard to provide not only in the sacraments but in the required Marriage Preparation, have never been truly exercised. Couples who have counted themselves as “happy” are now helpless against the stresses of confined living, because they’ve never practiced truly talking to each other.

I am grateful every day for the skills we learned as kids, growing up in daily Catholic life. We learned to share (when we REALLY didn’t want to). We learned not to roll our eyes and walk away when there was a disagreement, but to do the hard work of really listening.

By dying to ourselves we get that delicious abundant life that comes from loving God first.

In what ways has the quarantine called up in you some of the skills you’ve learned in your life?

Kathy McGovern ©2020

Ordinary Time - Cycle A

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