Two Basic Truths

July 5th, 2011 Posted in writing

A few days ago, the first Mass reading was from Deuteronomy, chapter 7, in which Moses reminded the Israelites of two basic truths. The first was that they had nothing that could make God love them. They were neither numerous nor powerful, but rather a little people with little influence in the world.

But the other truth was that God had nevertheless set his heart upon them. Though there was no way they could compel his love, there was no way that they could ever lose it, either, because God had graciously chosen to love them and would never repudiate that choice, even though they might turn away from him and cause needless suffering to themselves or others.

Though the message was addressed to Israel, it is meant for us, too — both collectively and as individuals. We are all, in the last analysis, little people, and we all fall short of what we should be. But God’s love doesn’t depend on our actions or achievements; it is based on God’s own faithfulness and mercy. Even when we are unfaithful and hurt ourselves and others, God stands ready to forgive and renew us.

We need to remember both of these truths because doing so can help keep us from either false pride or crippling discouragement, and we very much need that gift.

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