Connecting Point: January 5, 2020

How can I welcome neighbors and friends who do not share our faith?

“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 22: 37-39

This weekend, we hear the story of the magi from the east arriving in Jerusalem. The magi, by all accounts foreigners, traveled as they went to meet this new baby that would be the King of the Jews. When seeing the child, they prostrated themselves and did Him homage. They offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

What does my journey with my friends and neighbors have to do with the magi’s journey to meet the Christ child? If I truly love my faith, and love my God, I am called to help others understand this belief. Like the magi traveling east, our friends and neighbors are seeking God. One of the most likely spots for our friends and neighbors who are not involved at a church to meet God is by experiencing His love in the relationship we share with them. There is no condemnation of the magi, but rather openness. We, too, must be open to the questions of anyone we know. We must be prepared to answer in a loving, non-judgmental way. It is through our love of Jesus that our friends and neighbors will get to meet Him. If we believe that the Lord came to save each of us, we need to live in a way that respects other opinions, but in the same way invites them to meet our Lord in a meaningful way. I recently heard a nun, Sr. Miriam James Heidland, preaching on the sacredness of humans. She stated that outside the Eucharist, the most holy interaction that we can have is with another human being. So, the next time you have an opportunity to share your faith with a neighbor or friend, pray for a moment as to what God wants for them, and do your best to bring this to them through your interactions, conversation and witness. If we accept everyone in our life as one of God’s valued children, we will undoubtedly welcome them into the love and care that our Lord provides.

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Connecting Point: January 12, 2020