1 Thes 1:5c-10
St. Augustine once said love God and do what you want. Before we decide we now have a license to do anything, we should examine just what is meant by that statement. How do you act toward someone you love? Let’s look at the relationships in our own lives. If you love your spouse, really love your spouse, how do you act toward them? If you are acting in love, your ultimate goal is to make your spouse happy. You do things to make them happy, sometimes even if you don’t want to. You do things to build them up, you do things to build up the relationship, to make it flourish. You do not do things to hurt your spouse, you do not do things to damage the relationship. When you act in love you try to make the relationship flourish. It is a relationship built not on rules, but on love. Love covers all the rules. Your relationship with you children will involve rules, rules you set. Those rules are, or should be based in love. We set rules, make limits for our children to help them, to help them grow into whole and happy people. Again, this is a relationship built not on rules, but on love. So it is in our relationship with God. God shares love with us, a love we then return to God, and a love we are called on to share with others, spouses, children, family, the world. We are to share what has been given us with everyone. In the first reading we heard how we are to act toward the widow, the orphan, the alien, the stranger. We are to share with them the love that God shares with us. We are called to act in love. When we can do that, when we are acting in love, when we are be-ing in love, then we may begin to understand what St. Augustine meant when he said love God, and do what you want.
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Oct. 26, 2008