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Is God First in Your Life?
Gospel Reflection for October 9, 2023
“There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, ‘Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘What is written in the law? How do you read it?’ He said in reply, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ He replied to him, ‘You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.’
But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?’ He answered, ‘The one who treated him with mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’” (Lk. 10:25-37 NABRE)
It can be very easy to fail in loving God as we are called to. In today’s busy and chaotic world, we often feel pulled in so many different directions. And because we are spread so thin, we might feel distracted from the Lord, and perhaps even fail to spend time growing in our relationship with Him.
Yet, today’s Gospel reminds us that God should always be our number one. We should never allow anything to come before Him or allow anything to prevent us from loving Him with every ounce of our being. Our entire minds, hearts, strength, and being must be used to love God. If anything in our lives obstructs us from loving God with everything that we are, rather than allowing it to lessen our devotion to God, we must reprioritize so that God is kept first, and all else second.
Though it can be easy to get distracted by our work, relationships, and our various duties and responsibilities, we must never place these parts of our lives above the Lord. We can ensure that God is first in our lives by making time for Him, and by remaining in constant communication with Him throughout our day. Further, by loving and serving others and by being a neighbor to them, we will fulfill Jesus’ command to love God and neighbor.
So, as long as we remain in a spirit of prayer, and use the ongoings of our lives as opportunities to serve the Lord and to grow in virtue, our hearts, minds, and strength will clearly be His.