Nurturing God’s Love

It was really hard to write today’s Inspiration Daily. I cannot deny that high tensions surround anything calling out directly, or even indirectly, the fact that racism, violence, sexism/misogyny, gay panic and fiscal irresponsibility exist. I recall an argument from my middle school science class; nature or nurture?

How much of what we believe and who we are is an outcome of what our parents have taught us versus how much is actually a part of who we are? Are people born with loving/racist, kind/violent, heterosexual/LGBTQ+ tendencies or are they formed from small and key moments that impact their daily live as they grow up? Unfortunately, the argument of our genetic makeup or environment mattering more is still an open discussion that continues, but today God tells us that it is not up to our genetic makeup to define us.

Ancient Hebrews used to use the proverb, “Fathers have eaten green grapes, thus their children’s teeth are on edge,” to blame their behavior on their ancestors. Though it has been thousands of years, we are still blaming those before us for our own actions. Phrases such as “I am a product of my upbringing” and “I can’t help it” can no longer be an excuse for our sins. It is up to us, as adults, to define our own future for both this life and our afterlife.

In today’s first reading, God commands us to never repeat this proverb, because we are judged on our own sins, not our parents’. Your father may have been an immoral person, but God will not judge you according to his sins. This is an absolutely wonderful thing, but at the same time it also means that we can’t blame our parents for who we are as a coworker, as a partner, as a parent, as a society.

Since we are created in God’s image and likeness, we are all called to love, regardless of our genetic disposition or environment. Yes, some events in our lives may push us towards hatred, but as the Catechism reminds us, we recognize the urge to “to what is good and avoid what is evil.” If we are true children of God, it should not be a choice, not even our last one.

Think about the argument again. Nature or nurture? We are children of God by nature, so we should do all things with love and gratitude, that much is clear. Now if the rest is up to nurture, then the choice is ours. We can choose to nurture God’s love and share it with those around us. We can transform others with our own choices, giving eternal glory to God with our hands, voices, and thoughts. On the other hand, we can choose to nurture hatred and sin, causing others to sin and be judged accordingly.

Let us pray the Responsorial Psalm for guidance.

Veronica Alvarado is a born and raised Texan currently living in Michigan. Since graduating from Texas A&M University, Veronica has published various articles in the Catholic Diocese of Austin’s official newspaper, the Catholic Spirit, and other local publications. She now works as the Content Specialist in Diocesan’s Web Department.