The Collect at Mass on Sunday, the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time reminded us of the bottom line: the basic expectation of a child of God.
O God, who founded all the commands of your sacred Law
upon love of you and of our neighbour,
grant that, by keeping your precepts,
we may merit to attain eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Love of God and love of neighbour can seem quite separate things.
Someone could say ‘I don’t even believe in God, but I do love my neighbour.’ Yet God is love and every act of love is a participation in the world as God made it to be, not only its facticity, but its intention and purpose.
Sometimes, and for all sorts of reasons, often beyond their control, some of us do not believe in God. But God believes in us, and in love participates in their live and allows them to participate in his.
Memorial to the Salvation Army. National Arboretum. (c) 2016, Allen Morris