by Rev. Fr. Reynaldo A. Domagas
“He Ain’t Heavy…He’s My Brother”. It was the title of a popular song that truly reminds us of our serious responsibility to care for each other.
The Prophet Ezekiel was appointed to watch over the house of Israel. Like a watchman stationed at an outpost he was to warn them of impending disasters. It was his obligation to exhort them to repent, turn away from their sinful ways, and return to their covenant with God.
Paul also exhorted his Roman community regarding their ethical responsibilities. He cites portion of the Ten Commandments and he summarizes it all with the commandment of Love. He tells the Romans that the law of love was to extend to all people and all the actions of every Christian should be motivated by the love of God and God’s incredible gratuitous gifts. The old ways of violence, hatred and conflict are not the ways of Christians. These unresolved disputes that can lead to unhealthy divisions. Love is the Christian approach to conflicts resolutions and it leads us to reconciliation and forgiveness, unity and peace.
It’s a long road with many winding turns as the song tells us. There will be ups and downs. There will be pain and sadness, as well as joy and happiness. And when mistakes and faults are corrected life becomes less burdensome. And God has made us strong to help other people carry their load. Let us fill our hearts with gladness of love for one another and always remember they are not heavy… we can carry them!
Rev. Fr. Reynaldo A. Domagas
(Reflections on the Readings for the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, published in bulletin of Our Lady of Victory Church, New York City. September 4, 2011)