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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

Undivided Love

by Fr. David M. Knight

June 15, 2024

Lectionary No. 364


 1Kings 19:19-21 is a dramatic example of keeping the First Commandment: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your might.” This is a call to the totally undivided love that follows from recognizing God as One: the one and only All Good, All Truth, All Being. There is absolutely nothing we should seek, cling to or live for  “alongside of” God.

This doesn’t mean we don’t love our family, friends or any created human values. It means we love them only in God, seeing them included in the Goodness and Truth and Beauty of God. We seek relationship (interaction) with them as embraced in our relationship  (interaction) with the Father, Son and Spirit, never apart from it. 

This sounds vague. It is a “truth that invites endless exploration.” We have to grow into it; think about it, practice.

We meet this challenge on ground level whenever there is question of conflict or competition between seeking or serving God and acting for other goals. In the reading, Elisha wanted to do something good: say goodbye to his parents. Elijah was just making the point that Jesus made later: the call to ministry takes precedence over social obligations: 

Jesus said to one: “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God. 

Whoever loves father or mother.... son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  

And he lived it out, even appearing to reject his own mother! 

Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, sister and mother!

In Luke 2:41-51 Jesus is saying and acting out the same thing. When he grieved his parents by staying behind in the temple, Mary couldn’t understand it: 

“Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house” [or “about my Father’s business”]? 

The Father first: “Thy will be done!” 

Decision: See God in those you love. See them in God.  

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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