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  • Writer's pictureRebekah Stiller

A Good Word - from Fr. Greg Jakubowicz, OFM 9/10/2023


Hello Friends, Our readings for this Sunday share with you and me how God’s love for us can give us strength and courage to overcome our fear and anxiety. We are reminded in Ezekiel that God loves us so much that God sends prophets to counsel us and to help us. God still does send people today to watch out for you and me. That doesn’t mean trying things won’t happen to you and me – but out of love for us, God works through others to be there for you and me to build us up - especially in difficult cirmcumstances. And vice versa – God works through you and me to be there for each other. St. Paul’s letter should have prompted the early faith community at Rome, as well as you and me, to love our neighbor as ourselves. If one truly loves another, one desires only what is good for that person they love. Out of such love, as Christians following Christ’s example of love, you and I are called to be self-giving to each other - wanting for our neighbor what you and I would want for ourselves. It is in being loved like this, first and foremost from God, that you and I have the courage to love others likewise. To be so loved and to love strengthens our faith as it removes any of our fear. In Matthew’s Gospel, we hear an instruction to Jesus’ disciples, not about confrontation, but rather about the blessedness of the Christian community. The well-being of others, our families, and our faith community, becomes the reason for lovingly attending to the faults of one another. Jesus’ whole instruction on correcting someone is based on a yearning to help that person – you and me - out of an honest desire to love. I’m not talking about someone we don’t know heartlessly pointing out our faults for unknown reasons or purpose, but the people who love you and me kindly and charitably helping you and me to be who we want to be – good people. God wants the best things for you and me. When you and I realize that God is sending people to watch out for us spiritually; that God gives you and me the power to love another by giving of ourselves – like Jesus did, thus building up others and in the process, ourselves; and when we are open to giving as well as receiving loving correction from those who care for and love us – trusting in God’s unconditional love for us, then you and I truly have the strength and courage of our faith to overcome any of our fears and anxieties so as to live as God intends, freely and joyfully. Please don’t fall into the trap of not believing in God’s unconditional love for you. May today’s readings remind you of that great love, help you to recognize it at work in your own life, and make you stronger and more willing to love others. As always, if there is anything we can do for you at UB Catholic campus ministry, please let me know. We are here for you. May God bless you with Peace and All Good. Fr. Greg

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