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*Thursday 06th June 2024 Daily Reflection and Meditation*
_(Optional Memorial of St Norbert)_
Our Vocation is to Love

The human vocation is to love. God the Father loved us through his Son Jesus Christ and has given us an example to love others. Our vocation is to love God by loving the neighbor.
Are our words and actions expressions of love?

Or do they just express hate? Stay with your words and actions today and evaluate by percentage how they express love and how they express hatred. However, remember always that your vocation is to love.
_Grant us Lord the knowldege that our vocation is to love God and others._
*Have a blessed day*
*Love the Lord your God, and your neighbor as yourself*
_And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions. Mark 12:34_
*Readings: 2 Timothy 2: 8-15. Mark 12: 28-34.*
Today, we gather to celebrate the memorial of St. Norbert, a man who embodied the Gospel message through his dedication to reform and reconciliation within the Church. In today's gospel, Jesus discusses the greatest commandments. This aligns perfectly with St. Norbert’s life and mission.

A scribe asks Jesus which commandment is the most important or the greatest. Jesus responds with two commandments: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength," and "Love your neighbor as yourself." These two commandments are the foundation of our faith and encapsulates the entirety of the law.

St. Norbert, born in the late 11th century, was a man of noble birth who initially lived a life of ease and luxury. However, a near-death experience during a thunderstorm radically changed his life, leading him to renounce his wealth and devote himself entirely to God. Like the scribe in today's Gospel, St. Norbert sought a deeper understanding of what it means to love God and neighbor.

His transformation led him to a life of rigorous asceticism and profound spiritual commitment. He founded the Premonstratensian Order, also known as the Norbertines, emphasizing a life of prayer, community, and active ministry. St. Norbert's love for God was evident in his dedication to the Eucharist and his efforts to reform the clergy, ensuring that they lived lives that were consistent with the teachings of Christ.

St. Norbert also exemplified the second commandment, "Love your neighbor as yourself," through his work of reconciliation. He was often called upon to mediate conflicts within the Church and between secular authorities. His ability to bring peace and unity was a testament to his deep love and respect for others, recognizing that every person is made in the image of God.

In our own lives, we are called to follow the example set by Jesus and lived out by saints like Norbert. Loving God with our whole being means prioritizing our relationship with Him through prayer, worship, and adherence to His commandments. It means allowing our love for God to transform every aspect of our lives, guiding our actions and decisions.

Loving our neighbor as ourselves challenges us to look beyond our own needs and desires and to act with compassion and justice toward others. It calls us to be peacemakers in our families, communities, and the broader world, just as St. Norbert did.

As we remember St. Norbert today, let us be inspired by his radical conversion and his unwavering commitment to the greatest commandments. Let us ask for his intercession, that we may grow in our love for God and our neighbor, and that we, too, may be instruments of God’s peace and love in the world.
*Have a blessed Thursday*

_Rev Fr Francis Wambua, SJ_
*Jesuits in South Sudan*