30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
•October 28, 2023
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 29, 2023)
Gospel Bullet Points (Matthew 22:34-40)
- The Scribes at that time were debating about what was the hierarchy of all the precepts within the law of Moses. According to the synagogal tradition, the Law contained 613 precepts, 248 were positive commands and 365 were prohibitions—too many to grasp. What was the most important?
- When asked, “Which is the first of all the commandments?”, Jesus presented two answers to this question: 1) “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” 2) “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” No commandment is greater than these two. And these two commandments are inseparable. You can truly love God by loving your neighbor.
- Love of God comes first but it is not enough. No doubt, aware of our human tendency to separate the divine from the human, the earthly from the heavenly, Jesus adds another command taken from Leviticus 19. “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” These two together are the key to the true interpretation. These two commandments existed separately in Judaism. It is Jesus who unites the human and the divine in himself, bringing the two together.
- Do you know that it is possible to love someone you don’t even like? To teach us to love, He puts around us some unlovely people—in our workplace, at home, at the school, in every corner. It is easy to love people who are kind, lovely, and lovable. But if God is going to teach us how to love, He will bring to us hard-to-love; people we tend not to like because they don’t like us.
- If you were to think for a minute, you would probably come up with a list of people you don’t like—most probably, a lot of them. Jesus never demanded that we have to have a warm affection for everyone. But we do have to love them. Jesus never liked the Pharisees, the hypocrites, those who persecuted him, but He loved them still.
- We are called today to examine our hearts. Do we love our neighbors through God and God through our neighbors?