May the Lord bless you with peace in the Holy Spirit. It is 29th October 2023. We celebrate the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We reflect on Exodus 22:20-26; 1Thessalonians 1:5-10; and Matthew 22:34-40.
The symphony, synthesis, synergy, of the entire Bible is loving God and loving our neighbour.
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Loving God and others as we love ourselves.
The depth, density, dearness we show in loving ourselves, we need to love others. People who are kind and considerate to oneself, find it
Prayer and thoughtfulness for others is the expression. Social media is not the platform through which we can love God or others. The consumeristic society forces our young minds to believe a plastic love not perfect love that demands sacrifice.
Love is a commitment not merely a commandment.
Love is a miracle not a mirage.
Love is a cream of life not a dream.
Love is movement of the spirit not merely the moment of the body.
Love is sacred not a secret.
Love increases by loving and strengthens by sharing.
Love is not falling for but falling in.
Love is defined in its actions not in words.
Love is a respect without any restrain. Love cares always, never curves for its convenience. Love purifies never poisons. Loves re-presents not represents. Love is never made but born in human hearts. Love is not the attraction but the entire attention. Love amplifies not assembles.
To be gentle and generous with the neighbour, the stranger, the visitor, the immigrant, the marginalized and the voiceless is demanded by God from us all. God promises to take stand with those vulnerable people against those who abuse them. Loving them is the only expression of loving and believing God.
Not many of us is born with the silver spoon in our mouths and so it is good to treat the others with respect, love, and compassion. The shape, colour, smell, and fabrics of human towards the other is the only proof of our depth of loving God. Personal sacrifices and sufferings are the contributions towards having the experience of God in us and other.
We live so close in a building with others, yet we are most of the times do not even who the neighbour is. Seldom do we know our neighbour even though we have every possibility to know, love and connect, we choose “not-to-disturb,” the other.
How many families do know and have time for the neighbours in the apartments we live in? How often we interact with them? At times, we are scared to love our neighbours. Let us move out of our comfort zones that means to coming out of our forts we have created. “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 Jn.3:18)
One day, God told a man that he would visit his home and dine with him. Hearing this he was excited and so he started his preparations to keep the standard for God. He arranged everything so meticulously for the food and the table. Around 9 o’clock a poor lady came for begging in his house. He told her that he was waiting for God and eventually he chased her away. At 12 o’clock, a stranger and a visitor came begging for food in his house. Again, he told them he was waiting for God and asked them to move away from the way. Around 2 o’clock a person of determination stood in front of his house looking for food. Once again, he told him to move away from his house. The day came to an end. God did not show up. He was so frustrated and angry on God. Hence God appeared to him again and told him he came three times to dine with him. But he refused three times the visit of the Lord.
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” (1 Jn.4:20)
It might be true that we are looking for God in the way we want. So, we refuse to believe God and love god.
The responsorial Psalm praises, “I love you, Lord, my strength.” (Ps.17:1)
Love is the Medium of communication. St. Paul urges the Christians in Thessalonica to be the models, the examples of loving God emulating him as a model for loving Christ. He pointed out that without true conversion of heart we cannot commune with God and our neighbour. Whenever we live in sin, we find it hard to see goodness in other people. Living in grace, we see graciousness and generosity in others. We all need to work on hostility, indifference, personal hatred and distancing ourselves due the reasons and choices of our own. Once we were booming in everything, now we are zooming in everything. Yes, we are limitless in interactive relations but never been limited by anything outside of ourselves. The smell of love has caring and sharing fragrances not lusting and feasting noises.
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 Jn. 4:8)
Jesus does not extend a command, but He exemplifies what it means to love God. Loving God cannot be cognized when one is not experienced in dealing with the other. Jesus clearly distinguishes the way we need to love God and love our neighbour. To love God He says, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” But in loving the other, Jesus explains, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” It is not enough loving God, but we need to aspire loving the others as we love God.
We are to love God the way we are as persons endowed with heart, soul and mind while loving the other in a way we love ourselves. There is no compromise in loving God and others. Selfless love for others and Self full of love for God we need to aim at in our life.
Our spiritual life coupled with prayers and alms giving always help us to merge these two commandments of God. May the Lord give us the courage to love God and neighbour. Have a lovely day.