The above scriptural passage is from today's first reading.
How is it possible for us to say we love God if we do not love our neighbor.
We have two commandments that we must obey: We must love God with our whole hearts and we must love our neighbor as ourselves.
If we do not love our neighbor then we cannot possibly love God.
How many times a day have we:
- been impatient with someone who is holding us up in a line or walking down the street or driving too slowly in front of us?
- been annoyed at a family member for little things. However, if they had been a stranger, we would have treated them with more respect and patience?
- criticized someone behind their back?
- said no to our children when they interrupt what we are doing and asked us to do something for them?
- walked by a homeless person without even a smile or greeting them, let alone helping them?
- getting angry at outspoken or pushy people.
- putting our wants and needs before those of our spouse or family member or even friends.
- been envious or unhappy when a friend gets more attention than we do?
- not keeping silent when someone says mean or unkind things to us or about us?
- not visited or called a lonely or sick friend?
If we have done any of the above, we are in danger of not loving God first but instead, loving ourselves more.
It is not easy to change our nature, habits or personalities just because we want to. We need to pray for the grace to be more kind, more patient, more loving towards others. We need to pray for the grace, to love others more and ourselves less. We cannot do it alone. We need to be like little children who rely on their parents for everything. We need to depend on God to help us love others more so that we can love Him more.
On January 24th, the week of the infamous and deadly Roe v. Wade decision, the movie Gimme Shelter will open in theaters around the country. For many of us pro-life people of faith, we were blessed to have the privilege of watching it last evening. Thanks to the producer of Bella, Jason Jones of Movement to Movement, more and more pro-life, pro-family, and faith-based films will be coming to a theater near us. Thanks to him, we have films like the aforementioned Bella, and also October Baby, Crescendo and pretty soon, you can see his latest project, Gimme Shelter.
Gimme Shelter is based on a true story of Kathy DiFiore, a woman in New Jersey who opened up her home to pregnant and unwed teens. It is the story of a pregnant and unwed teenage girl trying to escape her drug addicted mother.
This movie has a very powerful beginning. The performances excellently portray violence and abuse due to drug addiction. It was heart-breaking having to see a teen girl feel so unloved, with no where to turn. Actress Vanessa Hudgens gives an amazing performance as Agnes "Apple" Bailey. Another powerful performance is given by Rosario Dawson. She was also the vet in the family film Zookeeper with Kevin James. It was hard to believe that she was the same actress in both films. In this new movie, she plays the drug addicted mother of "Apple".
There are a couple of other well-known actors in the film. They too brought a lot of emotion to their respective roles.
There was a strong request from the people who brought us this film, to make sure we let others know about them so that they could have people fill the seats when it opens up. We need to support these types of films. We need to bring more quality films to our theaters that have a message of hope, a message of love and a message of God.
So please make plans to go to the movies and watch this beautifully filmed movie.
And, lastly, please support your local crisis pregnancy center by either making a monthly donation or volunteering.