30th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Today’s Scriptures help us to prioritize our values. Jesus tells us the two laws that we must follow — we must love both God and our neighbor. The Word of God is clear. Our priority must be to help all who are oppressed and marginalized by society.
- To the point: By asking “which commandment in the law is the greatest,” the Pharisees reveal an attitude toward law far different from that of Jesus. Instead of limiting the demand of the law as the Pharisees do to discrete commandments that are kept or not, Jesus teaches that the demand of the law embraces the totality of our relationships with God, self, and neighbor. Love defines our relationships; love is the wellspring of obedience to any commandment. Love is the greatest commandment because it truly is the whole Law of God.
- Connecting the Gospel (Matthew 22: 34-40) to the first reading: God has shown Israel how to love: God rescued Israel from being aliens themselves in a foreign land, God hears the cry of “the widow or orphan” and “poor neighbors” in need.
- Connecting the Gospel to experience: When we experience someone reaching out to us in our need, we then tend to be more responsive to others in need. When someone loves us deeply, we learn how to love others more deeply. We learn to live the greatest commandment — love — from the greatest teacher: Jesus.
“The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.
Love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul
and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.”
Lord, let this be. Show us how.
Let your love be the lens that lets us see,
the map that takes us where we go,
the power that enlivens our lives,
the light pointing to the path,
and the very grace that saves us.
O God, kindly fill us with your love.
The First Reading
“If he cries out to me, I will hear him; for I am compassionate”.
Lord, remind us that the needy —
the immigrants, the widows, the oppressed,
the victims of discrimination,
the orphans, the poor, our common home,
all our neighbors — are for sure friends of yours.
Make them our friends too. Let us be your compassion.
The Second Reading
(1 Thessalonians 1:5c-10)
“For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth.”
Paul’s people received the word
from the Holy Spirit with joy.
They did not just light a lamp;
they became the lamp.
Everyone they met could find the way.
O God, send your Spirit.
Let us too be your light.
Copyright © 2023, Anne M. Osdieck
Music for reflection
Jesu, my love, my joy, my rest,
Thy perfect love close in my breast.
That I thee love and never rest;
And make me love thee all things best,
And wound my heart in thy love free,
That I may reign in joy evermore with thee.