And I, the Lord, am your God. God is above all, and I do not know how anyone would dare to say, My God, unless it is someone who believes in him and loves himhe says, My God. Youve made him your own, and he to whom you belong, loves this.With the sweetness of your affection, with secure and confident love, you say, My God. You say it safely; you speak the truth, because you are his, and you dont mean by this that he doesnt belong to someone else. You dont say, My God, in the same way as you say, My horse. If the horse is yours, its not someone elses. God is yours but he also belongs to anyone else who says, as you do, My God. Several individuals say, My God, and,My God; and he belongs to all, offering himself to all for them to enjoy; he is entire in all, entire in the individuals. Those who say, My God, dont divide him up among their several selves....Let the poor man say, My God; let the rich man say, My God. The second may have more than the first, yes, but more money, not more God. To reach God, the rich Zacchaeus gave away half of his wealth (Lk 19:8); to reach God, Peter abandoned nets and boat (Mt 4:20); to reach God the widow gave her two mites Lk 21:2-4); someone even poorer gave a cup of cold water (Mt 10:42); to reach God one utterly poor and needy had only his good will to give (Lk 9:14). They gave different things, but they all reached the one God because they did not love different things.So you, too, Gods human sheep, sheep of his flock, dont be troubled by your different situations: that some are honored and some not; some have wealth and others dont; some are beautiful and others less so; some are worn out by age while others are children or young; some are men and others women. God is equally present to you all. A higher place with God goes not to the one who has brought more money but to the one who has brought more faith. And you, it says, my sheep, the sheep of my flock, are men, and I am the Lord, your God, says the Lord God (Ez 34:31). How happy those thus possessed and possessing such a thing! For he possesses us and we possess him; he possesses us so that he may cultivate [colat] us, and we possess him so that we may worship him [colamus]; but we worship [colamus] him as God, and he tends [colit] us like a field so that we may bear fruit, and we worship [colimus] so that we may yield him fruit. All of it comes back to us. He does not need us. I will give you, he says, the utmost parts of the earth as your inheritance and possession (Ps 2:8). See how we are his possession! The Lord, it says, is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup (Ps 15:5). See how he is our possession! (Augustine, Sermon 47, 30; PL 38, c. 315-16)
Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.