There are many images by which we know our God. We call God Father, Creator, Shepherd, and, of course, Love. This list is not exhaustive. I am sure you can name God or image God in many other ways. No matter which image we choose, the image also determines who we are. If we refer to God as Father, we acknowledge that we are the child. If we call God Creator that implies that we are the creature. If we call God Shepherd, then we are the sheep. If we refer to God as Love, then we are the Beloved.
This is not something that can be taken lightly. Understanding who we are is all important in determining whether we are in right relationship with God. It is also important in determining if we are in right relationship with our neighbor.
Today’s Scriptures speak of making choices, of acting virtuously, and of being in right relationship with God and neighbor.
During Lent we take time to explore our relationship with God through our Lenten prayer. I believe that all of us want to be in right in our relationship. So I would invite you to look at your favorite image of God. Each of us relates to God differently. No one can impose an image of God upon you. It is a choice that we all have to make. There is no “correct” image as it is a very personal choice, just as our relationship with God is very personal.
The same is true of the way that we relate to others. Our relationships depend upon how we are connected to the other person. A parent relates differently to a child than he or she does to a co-worker. There are many different kinds of relationships that are part of who and what we are. The Gospel asks to be sure that we are in a right relationship with our neighbors before we come to the altar to worship God.
So our relationship to our neighbor is also a consideration in how we relate to God.
We come here each morning to receive the Eucharist. How we receive Jesus into our hearts depends up whether we have made the choice to act virtuously and to be in a right relationship with Jesus.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator