“Faithful Discipleship as presented in tradition of authoritative Catholic social teaching,” is all about creating this concordium, in English concord. A Hebrew word for God, is Abba, Father. Jesus is the Lamb of God. The Aramaic word for Lamb is “Omer.” The Aramaic word for “Word” is Omer. Lambs of course say, “Bah.” Bah is Hebrew for to come or the one who is to come. Ah Ha bah is the Hebrew word for Love.
It is welcoming each other into our communities with all of our faults and all of our failures. St. John tells us in 1 John 4:7, “Love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.”
In Mark 12:29 Jesus discusses the great commandment, “Hear Israel, God is Almighty; God is One. You will have loved God with all your hearts, with all of your animate being, and with all of your measure.) The Hebrew word, “Hearts,” is plural. It is addressed to the entire community, not individuals. We have we each have many hearts, inclinations, some of which are good and some of which are not. God calls us to love him with all of our inclinations. God calls us to love him with all of our measure. If we measure ourselves with our patriotism, God calls us to love him with that.
How do we love God? What do we give someone who literally has everything? We love him by taking care of and respecting his property, his garden. We especially love him by taking care of what he made in his image and in his likeness, each other. Jesus also tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. That means our neighbor has an obligation to love and respect us.
We need to see ourselves, or the ground within us as part of God’s garden. We must be people other people will find easy to love and respect. This is faithful discipleship. The Greek version of Genesis calls the Garden of Eden by its Persian name, Paradise. When Jesus dies, he tells another prisoner, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise.”
The command to guard and keep the garden never changes. If God cannot trust us to take care of his garden and the animate beings, including each other on this planet, how can he reasonably expect us to take care of the next one. Faithful discipleship means taking care of this garden, in particular each other. It includes using patriotism, the way we vote.
Jesus relates in Matthew 25:31 through 26:1, “As you do to the least of these my brothers, you do it to me.” Then the Passion comes. As we take care of those who hunger, thirst, are naked, in hospitals, and are in prison, we participate in the Passion.
We are all in the game of life. All bring to the game our resources, knowledge and skills. We all come to the game to get something out of it. Some requests are reasonable; some are not. Demanding that the poorest 50% live on 19% of all income so that the richest 20% can live on 80% of all income is not reasonable. The job of St. Augustine’s conductor is to make sure the tuba does not drown out the flute. St. Augustine’s conductor is our leadership, in private enterprise and in government. As Deuteronomy, 17:14 tells us, the conductor is not some mythical entity. He is one of us. He must know how many homes and cars he owns, how much a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, gasoline, and the like costs.
Our Lamb, our faith is all about promoting life; life lived to its fullest. That is what “Life” means. We look to St. Joseph, a carpenter. A retired worker is still a worker, just a retired one. When we say we are no longer working people, we cut ourselves off from community. The Ten Commandments no longer apply to us, but neither does the reward, eternal life.
As we look to our Liturgy of the Hours, we will meditate upon the Magnificat and just how The Mighty One has done great things for our Blessed Virgin? “He dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with nobility and the rich he sent away empty.” Those were revolutionary words then and they are revolutionary words now.
“Mystery” is church language for Sacrament. The sacrament is the great mystery handed on to us through the Ten Commandments, prayer and the creed. It is about Christ who comes to us through his Physical Presence in the body and the blood of the Eucharist.
This is part 4; Please click here for part 3