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God’s compelling love knows no rival…

The love of God compels us to choose who or what will be first in our lives. To place any relationship or anything else above God is a form of idolatry. We can allow many different things to take control of our lives and possess us – such as greed and lust for power, possessions, and wealth. But only God’s love can set us free to love as he loves – with mercy, kindness, goodness, patience, perseverance, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). The first and great commandment is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matt. 22:37). If we pursue the love of God and put his kingdom first in our lives, then he will give us everything we need to sustain us now and in the future as well.

True love for God compels us to express charity (merciful deeds of kindness and goodness) towards our neighbours who are also loved by God because he created each of them in his image and likeness. Mother Theresa of Calcutta once told a marvellous story about a destitute family who had nothing to eat for days. When news of their impoverished condition came to the Missionary Sisters of Charity, Mother Theresa personally went to their home and brought them some food supplies. The mother of the family immediately divided the food in half and carried it off. When she returned, Mother Theresa asked her, “Where did you go?” She gave the simple answer, “To my neighbours, they are hungry also!” Mother Theresa said, “I was not surprised that she gave – poor people are really very generous. I was surprised that she knew they were hungry. As a rule, when we are suffering, we are so focused on ourselves; we have no time for others.”

Jesus declared that any kindness shown and any help given to the people of Christ will not lose its reward (Matt. 10:42). Jesus never refused to give to anyone in need who asked for his help. As his disciples we are called to be kind and generous as he is. Jesus sets before us the one goal in life that is worth any sacrifice and that goal is union with God – uniting our heart, mind, and will with his heart and will for our lives. The reward of a life given over to God and obeying his voice is God himself – the source of true peace and joy that lasts forever. Does the love of Jesus Christ

compel you to put God first in all you do?

Fr Odinaka Nwadike


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