Dear Parishioners of St. James:
Praised be Jesus Christ!
In order to arrive at divine union (which God desires for everyone), we must renounce all that possess us. Jesus said that we cannot be His disciples without renouncing all our possessions, including hating our father, mother, spouse, children, and even our own lives (Lk. 14:25). Our divine Physician takes His scalpel right to our heart today, desiring to remove anything or anyone that places an impediment to the flow of His grace into our souls. We only have to consent to the surgery.
St. John of the Cross taught extensively about responding to the challenging Word set before us in today’s Gospel. He teaches that not only must we overcome our mortal and venial sins, we also have to overcome every attachment and spiritual imperfection if we wish to enter into divine union. This is true also in our human relationships. The only way to authentically give and receive love is to be detached from the other person in your selfish appetites and affections. Then we are free to love them as they are and not according to our selfish expectations.
Our dignity is so great that God jealously guards our souls and calls them to greatness. We must cooperate with His Word since He has made It known. Love God with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. Love people for the love of God and not for how they make you feel. Renouncing all our possessions is a difficult but liberating experience. A detached, purified, free love will emerge making us capable of divine union here on earth and hereafter in Heaven.
God bless you,