30 Sunday in Ordinary Time
MT 22:34-40
October 25, 2020

A good friend sent me a text.

It read: I can’t help wondering if we’ll ever find normal again.

I suspect people all around the world are wondering the very same thing…if we’ll ever find normal again.

The next day, even as I was mulling over what I personally miss about “normal,” another friend sent this email:

It is precisely the “normal” that we are so desperate to return to which has brought us and the entire planet to this blighted point.

She continued: YES! We want our normal hugs and kisses, our closeness, our visits, our gatherings…

(I miss our Sign of Peace at Communion time.)

Those are part of the solution, not the problem. The trouble is...What followed was a list of the issues about our “NORMAL WAY OF LIVING” that she believes brought our world to this “blighted point.”

THE REAL TROUBLE IS…not everyone agrees with her.

Although almost everyone acknowledges that these are not “normal times” we are living through, my friend’s list of concerns and causes is politically charged. Every item is hotly debated at the federal, state, and local levels of government…at corporate headquarters…at our kitchen tables…and even among our Church leaders. Politicizing the concept of “normal” has not been especially helpful.

But, taking the conversation into the spiritual realm should definitely clarify things and eliminate the need for further discussion and debate…at least for good and faith-filled folks.

The First Reading clearly sets out as Law God’s vision of what is “normal.”

In God’s mind, it is “normal” to welcome and provide refuge to strangers.

According to Divine purpose, “normal” involves social programs that ensure that the basic needs of all people are met.

God’s Law…LAW, not SUGGESTION, mandates fair and honest business practices.

However, fully aware of our tendency to question, argue, and debate, Jesus simplifies it for us: In the eyes of God, “normal” means unconditional love for God and for one another. All other laws shelter under the umbrella of unconditional love.

Perfect love leaves no room for questions, arguments, exceptions to the rule, or debates. With God, “normal” is a state of perfect and unbroken love. That is The Law.

When will we ever find “normal” again? Not until Jesus returns in glory. Only then will those who dwell in this world be able to experience what our Creator, from the beginning, intended as “normal”…A NORMAL STATE WHERE THERE IS ONLY LOVE!

In the meantime, it is the obligation of all people of faith to work together in order to make things as NORMAL AS POSSIBLE…by welcoming strangers…caring for those in need…and demanding justice for all.

If we want to be as “normal as possible” while we wait for Jesus to return, we MUST love one another. It is beyond discussion and debate.