October 26, 2014 - 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted Oct 23, 2014, 7:12 PM by Domain Admin   [ updated May 7, 2016, 10:32 PM ]

Gospel of Matthew 22: 34-40

Noy's Reflection

This gospel reading of Matthew is one of my favorites. First, the image of the Pharisees approaching Jesus with hopes that they will outsmart him is reversed when Jesus answers. I can just imagine the looks on people’s faces when they realize that Jesus just “owned” them with his reply. The answer is not only perfect, but it simplifies the ten commandments into one word: “Love!”

We must have love for God and all people. If we show love, then we are following the commandments received by Moses. I know that I personally stumble when it comes to remembering all the commandments and their order, but this one word ensures that I am obeying them all. Love fuels our belief in God and prohibits us from lying, stealing, or cheating towards our neighbors. Love helps us respect our parents and all people as children of God. It sounds cliche and “Disney-like,” but it’s true that “love is the answer.”

Now, I’m not saying that it is easy to love. It seriously takes a lot of work and practice. I am reminded of the passage from 1 Corinthians often read at weddings. Human nature and our personal will makes me choose to get angry or envious. It’s not always easy being patient or trusting. but these are characteristics of love. If we truly say we love someone, why would we do wrong towards them whether or not they “deserve-it?” Love is such a powerful thing and I know and feel God’s love. For me, God’s love and Jesus’s compassion is enough to fuel me to make better choices. I want to make a conscious effort to show my care to and for God.

So whether if I’m in a relationship or spending time with family, teaching children or listening to the news, I try and remember how “love” would live. Compassion, care, and love is what heals, shares, answers, and nourishes the lives we live.

Samantha's Reflection

Whenever I hear this verse, that we are to love God “with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our minds,”  I’ve always been moved by these words.  It says to me that we need to love God with every inch and essence of our being.  Our thoughts, actions, and words need to show that we love God.  This is no easy task as we come across situations in our daily lives that make us irritated, angry, sad, or stressed.  In those times, we might lose focus on loving God.

What does it really mean to love God?  To me it means, to do his will, to serve others in need, to worship him, to pray to him, to give him thanks, to glorify and honor Him.  We can do each of these things in the way we carry ourselves at school, work, home, and in the community.  As Fr. Tony said, “Live your life so that everyone knows you’re a child of God.”  Little things matter- when we use a cuss word, does that show that we are a child of God?  When we copy someone’s homework, does that show we are a child of God?  When we ignore the person asking for money on the street, does that show we are a child of God?

The second part of the Great Commandment is to love your neighbor.  The way we treat others is another way we show our love for God.  When I teach this to my kids in CCD, I ask them, who is our neighbor?  Sometimes they think literally, the person living next door!  Sometimes they say, our friends, our brother and sister, etc.  I tell them, your neighbor is EVERYONE- every single person on earth (then their eyes get a little bigger).  It is your next door neighbor, it is your classmate, it is the stranger you walk past on the street, it is your cousin, your teacher, and so forth.

This gospel reading makes me reflect on what love means- to sacrifice, to care for, to adore, to embrace.  Whatever we define as love, this is what we must do for God and for others.  Sacrifice is what sticks out most to me- sometimes we have to give up our own desires and dreams and follow God’s desires and dreams for us … if we do that, that’s how we can truly show our love for God.