The heart of God in our relationships

    February 26, 2024

    Today’s readings invite contemplation on three relationships: our relationship with God, with others and with self. As Christians, we believe that we are created for relationship — connections with depth, value and the propensity for growth in who we are as children of the Divine. Relationships begin the day we are born and permeate our life journey. In both private, personal and communal settings, God extends the invitation to engage in relationship and experience Divine love, grace, forgiveness, and compassion.

    The first reading reveals God’s greatness. Beyond human comprehension, God is awesome, mighty and deserves our respect. God desires for us to live in freedom and provides commandments on how to live in right relationship — in harmony — with God and others. And yet we struggle because of our tendency to choose outside of the good. The acknowledgement of God’s mercy, forgiveness and compassion reminds us to grow in our forgiveness of self and others.

    The gospel continues the themes of forgiveness and mercy, reminding us to embody the heart of God in our relationships and be merciful, just as God our Father is merciful. But what does mercy look like in our care of self and others as coworkers in the vineyard at Catholic Charities? And how are we extending the mercy of God to those we encounter?

    As a coworker, I am humbled by the care and compassion shared when a colleague struggles with a family member’s illness, mourns the death of a loved one or encounters financial challenges. The culture of Catholic Charities allows for appropriate levels of vulnerability so we can be Christ to one another without judgment. It provides the space to journey together in a way that also assists our growth in compassion, so that when we encounter people seeking our services, we can care for all God’s creation without partiality. The life and dignity of every person we encounter takes precedence over judgment or bias. The forgiveness and love of God is extended without judgment so support and care can be shared — which each person deserves as a child of God.

    Jeanne Adamske, MAPS, MBA, is the Chief of Staff at Catholic Charities St. Louis. She has served in Church ministry for over fifteen years and continues to carry out Christ’s mission in the world, sharing His compassion, love, and care.

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