October 29, 2017 - 30th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Ex 22: 20 - 26 / 1 Thes 1: 5c - 10 / Mt 22: 34 - 40
FROM THE FIRST READING: Ex 22: 21 - 24
You shall not harm the widow or the orphan. If you do harm to them and they cry out to me, I will hear them and my anger will blaze and I will kill you with the sword, and your own wives will be widows, and your own children orphans. If you lend money to any of my people who are poor, do not act like moneylenders and do not charge him interest.
GOSPEL READING: Mt 22: 34 - 40
When the Pharisees heard how Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. One of them, a teacher of the Law, tried to test him with this question, "Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the Law?"
Jesus answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and the most important of the commandments. But after this there is another one very similar to it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself The whole Law and the Prophets are founded on these two commandments."
From the first reading from Exodus and the Gospel reading, we can contemplate three scenes: In a first scene, as in the reading, Jesus was asked, "Which is the most important commandment in the Law?" As expected Jesus said, "to love God," and he added, "another one very similar to it," "to love the neighbor."
A surprising answer because for the Jews, the neighbor was the fellow Jew or the resident alien; for Jesus the neighbor was every fellow human being, Samaritan, Gentile and enemy included.
In a second scene we have Jesus at the last supper telling his disciples, "This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you" (Jn 15: 12) Jesus tells this to his disciples after he had washed their feet: "If I, then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also must wash one another's feet. I have just given you an example that as I have done, you also must do." (Jn 13: 14 -15)
Love of neighbor is shown by service, especially to those in need. Love of neighbor is shown by loving neighbor in the same way that Jesus showed his love for us, even to the death of the cross.
In a third scene we can picture Jesus with us. Jesus has given us his commandment "to love one another as I have loved you." How ought we to live his commandment today, here and now?
Clearly there is no single answer for all. God speaks to us in varied ways; each one of us lives our unique lives in our unique circumstances. Saul who persecuted the early Christians before he was thrown down from his horse, lost his sight and was restored his sight by Ananias, became God's "chosen instrument to bring my name to the pagan nations and their kings, and the people of Israel as well" (Acts 9: 15)
What does God want of me? Have I encountered God in a personal meaningful way? If I have not, it will be extremely difficult for me to love
him more than I love myself and to love others for love of him.
The 26-year old Jesuit scholastic Richie Fernando encountered Christ and fell in love with him in a personal way to heed his call for the Jesuit mission in Cambodia some years ago. He met Christ and loved him in the young Cambodians he worked for and with. He literally followed Christ's command to love others by sacrificing his own life to protect others, including the trouble maker, from a grenade blast.
We pray to experience God, as Paul the Apostle did, as Richie Fernando did. Then we can truly love him "with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind and also love our neighbor as ourselves."
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
ACE M. SANTOS
PETER JUDE T. ALVAREZ
FELIPE SANTOS (PRESBYTERIAL ORDINATION)
IN MEMORIAM (†)
ZOlLO & TRINIDAD DY
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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