You Don’t Need a Loan to Love

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

ss peter and paul embrace

I have to smile when I read in St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, “Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another.” I smile because I know that in today’s world few people owe nothing to anyone. We have credit card debt, mortgages, student loans, car loans, and new loans to consolidate old loans. It would seem that we actually owe everything to everyone.

These debts are of this world. I am pretty sure no one residing in heaven is still making mortgage payments. We have created contracts in this world to make possible certain transactions of goods, services, and shelter. But there is one thing that we naturally owe one another and that lasts longer than our time on earth: love.

You do not need to take out a loan to have more love to give. There also is no limit to the love you have been given to share. However, it is the one gift that we sometimes treat with the least respect. We hold back love due to sins of pride, prejudice, and apathy. We distort and manipulate love for our own gain and selfish desires. We can find ourselves placing more importance on the things for which we have taken out loans than the love that is eternal.

I am trying the best I can to get to a point where I no longer owe anything to banks and mortgage lenders. I don’t want to leave this world owing anyone for the earthly things I had in this life. But even more importantly, I realize the shame it would be to leave people behind that didn’t get enough love from me. There is nothing greater than love.

Working Together

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 6th Sunday of Easter 2017

family

My children could never succeed without their mother and me. That isn’t me thinking too much of ourselves, it is just a fact. No one can find success in life in total isolation. I could never have become who I am today without my parents, various teachers and mentors, and my wife. Truth be told, I probably owe a lot of who I am to my children as well.

I can only imagine the fear and concern of the first disciples when it was apparent that Jesus was not going to be with them much longer. Some probably thought since Jesus had risen from the dead, he might just live with them in the same way forever. But Jesus tried to calm their fears by assuring them, “I will not leave you orphans.” He said He would continue to come to them and that He would send the Spirit to be with them at all times. They would not have to continue what He had started and preach the Good News to the ends of the earth on their own.

We may sometimes feel that we are alone. We may at times try to do too much or show others that we are independent and strong. However, without the help of others, without the help of God, true success will always elude us. Our actions and words can become empty. The gifts we have received can either be cultivated in secret and in the shadows, or we can welcome the help that God provides in His Spirit, His community, and the sacraments He gave us. By working together the world will truly know the power of the Risen Lord.