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A Jealous Lover

First Reading: Amos 2:6-10, 13-16

Thus says the LORD:
For three crimes of Israel, and for four,
I will not revoke my word;
Because they sell the just man for silver,
and the poor man for a pair of sandals.
They trample the heads of the weak
into the dust of the earth,
and force the lowly out of the way.
Son and father go to the same prostitute,
profaning my holy name.
Upon garments taken in pledge
they recline beside any altar;
And the wine of those who have been fined
they drink in the house of their god.

Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorites before them,
who were as tall as the cedars,
and as strong as the oak trees.
I destroyed their fruit above,
and their roots beneath.
It was I who brought you up from the land of Egypt,
and who led you through the desert for forty years,
to occupy the land of the Amorites.

Beware, I will crush you into the ground
as a wagon crushes when laden with sheaves.
Flight shall perish from the swift,
and the strong man shall not retain his strength;
The warrior shall not save his life,
nor the bowman stand his ground;
The swift of foot shall not escape,
nor the horseman save his life.
And the most stouthearted of warriors
shall flee naked on that day, says the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 50:16BC-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23

R. (22a) Remember this, you who never think of God.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?”
R. Remember this, you who never think of God.
“When you see a thief, you keep pace with him,
and with adulterers you throw in your lot.
To your mouth you give free rein for evil,
you harness your tongue to deceit.”
R. Remember this, you who never think of God.
“You sit speaking against your brother;
against your mother’s son you spread rumors.
When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.”
R. Remember this, you who never think of God.
“Consider this, you who forget God,
lest I rend you and there be no one to rescue you.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”
R. Remember this, you who never think of God.

Gospel: Matthew 8:18-22

When Jesus saw a crowd around him,
he gave orders to cross to the other shore.
A scribe approached and said to him,
“Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”
Another of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But Jesus answered him, “Follow me,
and let the dead bury their dead.”

NAB

DEV_J27

One of the most thrilling, nauseating, and compelling moments of a young crush is the moment you discover how that person feels about you. The anticipation of a much-desired crescendo can make five minutes feel like a lifetime.

Does he like me? Does he know I like him? Does he want to date me? What is he thinking? What is he going to say to me?

As women, we spend much of our single years wondering if a certain friendship might blossom into something more, if the guy we’ve been dating is interested in becoming more serious, or what kind of relationship the person we like might be looking for.

All this is good and well, but this is also where the Godhead comes in as the end-all-be-all Lover.

In the Gospel today, Jesus doesn’t mince words. He doesn’t lead us on or leave us wondering. On the contrary, He’s eager to DTR (define the relationship). Jesus clearly reveals what kind of relationship He desires with us—a wholehearted one.

In the First Reading, we see our God as a jealous lover, righteously angry that we continued to look for love in all the wrong places after He had written us love poems, saved our lives, made us dinner, and offered us our favorite flowers.

The Lord isn’t interested in a casual relationship or one devoid of commitment and passion. He didn’t become man and endure the Passion in order to have a so-so relationship with us.

He wants permanence. He wants depth. He wants consistency.

And deep down, under the layers of doubt and intertwined in our wanderings, we want the same. No matter how long or ferociously we look for fulfillment in other arenas of life, our hearts are only able to rest in committed, faithful, and adventurous relationship with our God.

So what’s holding us back today? What active steps should we take to respond to Jesus’ invitation with fervor? How can we take the tenants of healthy human relationships and apply them to our relationship with Jesus?

Let’s DTR, girls. Let’s go all-in with Jesus. Let’s be jealous lovers in return. Let’s follow Him.

photo credit

Olivia Spears is a middle school religion teacher turned SAHM who is married to her high school best friend. You can find out more about her here.

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