English Español Mary Immaculate
Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

Only God Can Fill the Heart

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“And who is my neighbor?” Luke 10:29

A story tells that the gods, angry with men for their wickedness, decided to hide happiness somewhere where they could not find it. One said, let’s hide it in the deepest part of the ocean. Another suggested, better on the highest mountain and under the ice. But another replied: I think it is not a good idea, because one day they will be able to explore even in those places. Better let’s get it deep into their hearts, that’s where I’ll never enter and I won’t be able to find it.

It’s like the one who sold his ranch to go in search of a diamond mine, he spent his whole life searching without finding. When the old man wanted to return to his little ranch, he realized that the one who bought it found the largest diamond mine ever seen under the house.

God does not hide happiness from us, on the contrary, he reveals to us the way to find it: Christ is the way. The good news is that: The Kingdom of God is within your reach. It is not far away; it is in your mind and in your heart.

What must I do to have eternal life? It is like asking: what do I do to have happiness, fullness of life, meaning to live…? Many young people and people wonder this, they live like sheep without a shepherd, adrift, confused by so many voices in this world, by so many proposals and different paths.

But we should all listen to the voice of the good shepherd. My sheep affirm my voice and follow me; they will not follow other voices, for they know the voice that must prevail over any other, that of God. That is why Jesus clearly responded to he who asked him this question: what is written, love God above all and your neighbor. Do that and you will live.

No one should continue to wander, aimlessly, without a north, as if in darkness, when God came to be our light and guide, to show us the way, to give us life in abundance, divine, full, eternal. Love like Jesus; and in order to do so, he receives a diary from him of his divine Love in you, so that you can give it. Do that and you will be happy, and you will have Life in your soul.

“You made us for yourself, Lord, and our hearts will be restless until they rest in you.” Saint Augustine

Love Neighbor

What does it mean to love God with all our heart, being, strength, and mind? We turn our hearts to God in prayer, quiet
moments of reflection, and participation in the Mass and sacraments. Our whole being may turn to the Lord in trust in the midst of troubled times or when we need courage. We find strength to live as Christ’s people, even when faced with the questions, doubts, and derision of others. We may turn to the Lord with our mind as we prayerfully read sacred scripture and learn more fully the teaching of the Church. All of these things point to a singular desire to know God deeply. The love we have for God is, after all, a reflection of the great love God has for each of us.

Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan points to the impact our love of God is to have in our lives. The priest and Levite were more concerned with observing the letter of the law rather than living its essence. The Samaritan found himself unable to pass by without coming to the traveler’s aid. Who are the travelers whom we meet? What is our response? Are we so filled with the love of God that we cannot ignore the suffering of hunger or homelessness, the needs of the lonely and sick? Loving God necessitates loving our neighbor. We cannot have one without the other. Jesus shows us that the love we are to share is selfless, sacrificial. The Samaritan not only cared for the traveler’s wounds, but took him to find shelter and paid for his care. He went the extra mile on the journey of faith. Who is your neighbor today? How will you love him or her?

Readings for the Week

Monday: Is 1:10-17; Ps 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21, 23; Mt 10:34 — 11:1
Tuesday: Is 7:1-9; Ps 48:2-8; Mt 11:20-24
Wednesday: Is 10:5-7, 13b-16; Ps 94:5-10, 14-15; Mt 11:25-27
Thursday: Is 26:7-9, 12, 16-19; Ps 102:13-14ab, 15-21; Mt 11:28-30
Friday: Is 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8; Is 38:10-12abcd, 16; Mt 12:1-8
Saturday: Mi 2:1-5; Ps 10:1-4, 7-8, 14; Mt 12:14-21
Sunday: Gen 18:1-10a; Ps 15:2-5; Col 1:24-28; Lk 10:38-42

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Monday: St. Benedict
Wednesday: St. Henry
Thursday: St. Kateri Tekakwitha
Friday: St. Bonaventure
Saturday: Our Lady of Mount Carmel; Blessed Virgin Mary