Our All Saints Blog

Put A Little Heart Into It

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The scribe said to Jesus, "Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, He is One and there is no other than he. And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God." And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

No one asked any more questions. Are you kidding me? How could anyone leave ii at that! This is not right. It's not fair! What did Jesus mean when He said, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God." What's missing???

Which is the first of all the commandments? The Lord answered the scribe's question by saying: "Hear O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."

The scribe basically nodded his head and said in reply, "Ditto." But apparently this was not enough for Jesus or to enter the Kingdom of God. Something was still missing.

Well then, what would be enough for God? Christ made it abundantly clear that knowing the commandments was good, but not enough. And obeying them was very good, but not enough.

What's missing? The other commandments? No. Not the other commandments, but the most important aspect in all the commandments: the heart. Commandments, like rules, need a heart. And guess what? Ours is it. Is yours still missing?

It's not enough just to know the commandments and to live them. We need our heart to ignite them. We must fall in love with God's Will.

Let's be honest. We're all good at faking. We're all good at pretending we like what we're doing, even when we don't. We're also very good at letting people know when we don't like what we're doing, even though it is something good and noble. Jesus, our Savior, is insisting we put our heart into what we are doing, especially when we are doing His Will in our lives. Commandments need a heart, just like music needs emotions.

It's not enough just to be able to read music. It's not enough just to be able to play music, even a robot can do that! What we need to do is put some emotion into our music

Christ is inviting us to put some heart - some passion-into His music.

There is nothing wrong with the Lord's commandments. They don't need to be erased, added or modified or updated. They simply need a heart like His to operate them.

And even though Christ lived over two thousand years ago, His words and actions are as challenging today as they were back then (They are also as inspiring and thrilling today as they were back then.). So maybe what is missing from our lives is not so much His Will as it is His passion. And we know He gave every drop of it to us.

Posted by Fr. Alfonse Nazzaro with

A Blind Man Who Saw God

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“One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right…” …When Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

In today's Gospel passage, we read about a blind man who believed in God. He didn't need to see God in order to believe in Him. He just needed to have faith.

More than eye can see. More than ear can hear. Bartimaeus believed in a lot of things. He believed in God and in the colors and descriptions of things he could not see. In other words, he believed there was more to life than in what his eyes could see. This is important, and a great lesson for all of us. There is so much more than what our eyes can see, and our ears can hear. Do you believe this? Thankfully, scientists and engineers believe it. That's why they invent more and more powerful microscopes, telescopes and - why not - stethoscopes. They know there is more to this world than eye can see and ear can hear. They know we are very limited in our sensory perceptions. Are we not also a bit limited in our spiritual perceptions? And maybe - just maybe • our sensory perceptions inhibit a bit our spiritual perceptions! After all, ii was a blind man - not the crowd - who had enough faith in Jesus to ask him for a miracle. There is much to learn from Bartimaeus: There is more to this world than what eye can see and ear can hear. There are also a lot of people like Bartimaeus in this world.

I don't know if you know of the incredible love story of a remarkable couple who stunned their closest friends when they decided to get married. Their friends said it could never work. But years later, things couldn't be better for Ian and Larissa Murphy.

"In an age when marriages are breaking at the drop of a hat...it is endearing to see a love story as beautiful and as unique as this one. College sweethearts, Ian and Larissa, like any other couple, had eyes full of dreams. Dreams of getting married, having children and building their castle of love - together! But, something happened, something so tragic that changed their lives forever." Ian had a horrific car accident and in the crash, he hemorrhaged his brain. The once happy-go-lucky guy was left without the ability to speak, walk and care for himself. Despite all this, Larissa's love did not change. She was confident in her love for Ian. Her friends were not so sure. They tried to convince their best friend not to marry him. He will be a burden to you for the rest of your life. You won't have a life. You won't be able to realize all your dreams. Why put yourself through all this? You don't owe him anything. You don't have to do this. But Larissa knew there was more lo Ian than eye could see. She knows this because she knows there is more to love than eye could ever see! Their wedding was one of the most beautiful weddings friends and family had seen, even their skeptical friends agreed. Over the years, Ian's condition has actually become better and is steadily improving. Hate to say this, but this couple's skeptical friends were acting more like scientists than like friends. Scientists can be very boring. After all, most of them just report what they see. What you see is what you get, right? And when they discover something amazing ... chances are it was by accident!

On the other hand, poets and artists are like welcomed friends. They are never boring. They see well beyond what eye can see; that is, well beyond the obvious! They go deep. They "see" deep. They see and/ or hear things no one else can see and/or hear. And through their art, they give to us - the blind and deaf - a world full of amazing colors and sounds. They reveal the Spirit in all things.

Now if you find it amazing what poets and artists can reveal, then you should find it even more amazing at what God reveals through His Son.

 

Posted by Fr. Alfonse Nazzaro with

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