LOVING OURSELVES AS CHILDREN OF GOD
(Saturday, November 11)
“And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, ‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?’ So he answered and said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’ And He said to him, ‘You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.’ But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’” (Lk 10:25-29)
The lawyer already knows the “simple” answer to his own question. So, the Lord tells him to go and “Do this,” – rather than just ask questions about it. And then “you will live,” He adds; you will taste the true life, the life abundantly, that comes from actively loving God, yourself, and your neighbor. But the lawyer is more interested in showing that it’s all “not that simple” (всё не так однозначно), so that he can “justify himself” in his *not* doing.
How can I “do this,” – love God with all my heart, strength and mind, and my neighbor as myself, today? 1. I can become awake to God’s presence and goodness, in some heartfelt prayer, and I can thank Him for the small and big kindnesses of Him and others to me. I can note my own pluses and minuses from the past day in my little journal, my spiritual and other victories and defeats, handing them over to God’s healing mercy and noting how/where I could do better, as He has faith in me, that I can. 2. Then, so that I might “love my neighbor as myself,” I can actively take care of my physical well-being; tidying up my room, doing my skin-care routine, attentively preparing some food and getting a bit of exercise, as much as I can.
Let’s note: If I treat myself like a piece of garbage, or disrespect my mind, body, or soul, making unreasonable, arrogant demands or expectations of myself, I will tend to treat others in this way as well. I need to be, and recognize myself as, a beloved *child* of God, as the Lord says: “unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Let me not neglect but have compassion and care for, the beloved child in me, that I may “do this and live,” in service to other *children* in my midst as well.