I had just moved to the area about two years ago.  I had a job that required a lot of my time, specifically in the summer (March through October), which is typically prime time to meet folks in your community with nice weather and longer daylight.  My job required my husband and I to live in a rural setting. Lots of farm fields, big gaps between homes, long driveways, and the smell of cow manure would reach our house if the wind blew just right. While I loved where we lived and the natural opportunities around us, I was suffering from lack of sisterhood. 

My Catholic community blessed me. I attended my second young adult event (shout out to Brewing the Faith in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee!) and met Karri. We became fast friends, which I later learned was normal for extroverted Karri.  She scooped me up and plopped me into the Core Team at our parish and invited me into her small group. 

Fast forward a few years, and I found myself in a mom’s group chat with women from our parish. I was excited to have finally found a sisterhood that was rooted in goodness!  I was so determined to keep hold of this group. I was a new mom with a new group of mom friends. When I was added to the group I was suffering from postpartum depression.  It was difficult to get out of bed and perform daily necessary tasks. Life was just heavy. I worried that sharing this part of darkness might drive them away. I mean, they hardly knew me. They didn’t know the bubbly, active Molly before babies… who wants to hang out with a complainer?  

I was desperate.  I messaged in the chat and asked for prayers to get through a particularly hard day.  A few minutes later I received a text from one of the fellow moms. “Hey Dear! Certainly praying for you, but also wanted to ask what day would be best to bring over a meal?”  I had a meal delivered to my house by a different mom for the next four Thursdays. 

I share this story because today’s Gospel brings me to the stark reality of my relationship with God. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  

Brothers and sisters, do you love the Lord? How often do you talk to Him throughout the day? Are you not wanting to burden God with your desires in fear that He might lose interest in your friendship? Are you worried that He would not come to your aid when you needed it most? 

In the gospel today, Jesus tells us He will never leave us orphaned, but remain with us and in us. Talk to God.  Ask for the help you need.  Perhaps the Lord will care for you through the hands of your new group. Perhaps it will come through internal grace received by matching socks in the clean hamper. My point is this, even if you feel like you don’t know Him well, today is the day you can start to get to know Him better. Today is the day you can offer yourself and your struggles to Him. Learn to know Him and love Him by keeping His commandments.  Our Lord will not leave you, but remain with you. Always.