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Seeing God in Your Neighbor [Awakening Faith]
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? (Isaiah 58:7)
These two commandments ought to be very familiar to you; they should spring to your mind when I mention them, and never be absent from your hearts: “Love God with your whole heart, your whole soul, and your whole mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37 – 39). These two commandments must always be in your thoughts and in your hearts, treasured, acted on, and fulfilled. Love of God is the first to be commanded, but love of neighbor is the first to be put into practice.
Since you do not yet see God, you glimpse the vision of God by loving your neighbor. By loving your neighbor you prepare your eyes to see God. Consider what is said to you: “Love God.” If you say to me, “Show me whom I am supposed to love,” what can I say except what Saint John says: “No one has ever seen God!” (John 1:18; 1 John 4:12). But so you do not worry that you are completely cut off from the sight of God, he says, “God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God” (1 John 4:16). Therefore love your neighbor, and observe the power by which you love him or her — there you will see God, as far as you are able.
In loving and caring for your neighbor you are on a journey to the Lord. We have not yet reached his presence, but we have our neighbor at our side. We are all pilgrims, so support your companions as we walk together toward the kingdom of God, with whom we wish to remain forever.
Awakening Faith: Daily Devotionals from the Early Church
by James Stuart Bell and Patrick J. Kelly
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