Homilies and reflections for Sunday
Exodus 22: 20-26
1 Thessalonians 1: 5-10
Matthew 22: 34-40
This Sunday’s Reflection
Which is the greatest commandment?
Today’s gospel takes us to the ideal at the heart the teaching of Jesus. In his Sermon on the Mount, as he contrasted the accepted standards of old Israel with his New Law, Jesus warned his followers that their ‘uprightness must surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees’. It is not surprising, therefore, that the interpretation of the ‘commandments of the Law’ was one of the issues at stake in the conflict between Jesus and his enemies.
30A Ordinary Time – Blogs
30A Ordinary Time – Blogs
Father Vincent Hawkswell – B.C. CATHOLIC
In this Sunday’s Gospel reading, Christ tells us to love God. It is easy to see why, for God made us to know him, love him, and serve him in this world and to be happy with him forever in the next. However, Christ also tells us to love each other as we love ourselves. That is not quite so easy. “By communicating his Spirit, Christ mystically constitutes as his body those brothers of his who are called together from every nation,” Vatican II explains. “In that body the life of Christ is communicated to those who believe and who, through the sacraments, are united in a hidden and real way to Christ in his passion and glorification.” (2020)
Fr. John P. Cush – EVANGELIST (DIOCESE OF ALBANY)
As someone who has spent the majority of my priesthood teaching full-time, I believe that I have picked up some tricks of the trade over the years. Diaconal candidates, lay pastoral ministers, religious novices, seminarians, college students and high school students — no matter what age, gender or situation — all have one thing in common: They love to ask that one question to stump the teacher. (2017)
Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino – DIOCESE OF ST. PETERSBURG
I am convinced that it is more difficult to be a parent now than it was five years ago because hatred is now acceptable in some areas of our society. But, there is this wonderful positive: parents are being forced by all this to become even greater lovers of God, of their family, and of each other. We can beat the devil at his own game. He provides hatred. We counter with love. When we come upon hatred, we can use this as an occasion to grow in love. By fighting against hatred, from the use of the word hate in our homes to reaching out to the victims of hatred in our society, we become more loving. We beat the devil at his own game. (2020)
Jamie Waters – AMERICA MAGAZINE
Today’s readings are extremely important, especially as we near Election Day. They remind us to consider the candidates’ rhetoric, track-records and policies, not solely political party affiliation. They also compel us to ask the questions: Who has shown care for vulnerable populations? Who cares about how we treat one another? Who promotes love? …if you are thinking of using Scripture to help you decide how to cast your ballot, Jesus’ message is utterly clear: love. Americans have been divided by rhetoric and actions fueling hate and division, actions that are in opposition to Jesus’ call for love. On election day and always, let the Gospel message of love influence whom you choose as your leaders. (2020)
Deacon Thomas Baker – LECTIONARY HOMILIES
The gospel and the commandments are not our weapons to use against others, they are mirrors in which the first thing we should be looking at is ourselves. It isn’t that morality doesn’t matter, it’s that standing in judgment of others and questioning their salvation more than we question our own is a very dangerous business. Salvation is God’s business, not ours, and God goes about it in a way that’s much more generous than the way any of us ever would. We all need a savior, not just a few of us, and it’s the same savior for all us, and he doesn’t play favorites. (2013)
Fr. George Smiga – BUILDING ON THE WORD
Which of these two commandments do you think is more difficult to follow? Is it harder to love God? Or is it harder to love our neighbor? We could argue about this question, but I think we could all agree that neither commandment is easy to obey. It is difficult to love God because God is invisible. We cannot touch or hear God. So when crisis enters our life, it is easy to wonder, “Is God present? Does God care?” It is difficult to love God because when bad things happen to us, it is hard to resist the question, “Why did God allow these things to happen? Why did my spouse die? Why is my son addicted to drugs? Why does my friend have cancer?” (2017)
Click on link above to also read homilies from 2005, 2008, and 2011
Fr. Austin Fleming – A CONCORD PASTOR COMMENTS
We’re wounded by love, we’re healed by love,
we look for love, we hide from love
we give our love, we withhold our love
we hunt for love, we run from love,
we celebrate love and we grieve its loss
we talk about love, we write about love, we sing about love
we dream of love, fantasize love, hope for love
we sell love, buy love, ignore love
we offer and receive love, we make love
we need love, we promise and betray love
we abuse and refuse love, we forget and regret love
we fear love, we reject love, we welcome love,
we love love…
Love is such a pervasive reality in our lives: this complex, beguiling, perplexing, bewildering, elusive, demanding, ambiguous reality that suffuses all that I am and all that I do – indeed, even all that I hope and dream and pray for. (2017)
Father John Kavanaugh, SJ – SUNDAY WEB SITE
Love means sex to some. Thrill to others. Feeling wonderful to most. Love should fix things, change them, renew them. It ought to make us feel better about ourselves and the world. It must make life light and easy, a joy, an ecstasy, bliss. As the Beatles’ song says, “Love is all you need.” Imagine the embarrassment and confusion then, when such a word, in the ironic play of God and the transcripts of history, shows up as the summation of the law and the prophets. (1997)
30A Ordinary Time – Blogs
30A Ordinary Time – Blogs
Lifeissues.net website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.
Concretely speaking, are not the best moments of our lives those spent in loving and caring for others? This happens when a mother spends sleepless nights to care for a sick child. This happens when from the little we have, we share food or money or both with someone really in need. This happens when we set aside our pride and ask for forgiveness or extend forgiveness, thus bringing back peace in our relationships. It is in these moments when we forget ourselves.
Love is a willed act. Like any act we have to learn, it might be difficult in the beginning, just as a baby finds it difficult to walk at first. But when one does it often enough it becomes a habit. It becomes easier to love. To love somebody who is lovable is easy to do, just like it is easy for a child to eat candies. To love somebody who is unlovable, or an enemy, is difficult. It is like the child who finds it hard to eat vegetables. One therefore has to learn how to love.
Clearly tough times do not only demand toughness. Tough times demand tenderness and compassion. There are the times to demonstrate love. Love here is understood not just as a feeling or a sentiment but as acting for the good of the other. An enemy of love during these times is opportunism. Opportunism is taking advantage of the misery of others
The poor referred to in the Responsorial Psalm, the ones whom the Lord hears, are those who cry out to God because they have become aware of their utter helplessness and need for God. The poor are indeed those who suffer innocently, but the poor can very well be those who have screwed up their lives as a result of the bad choices that they’ve made in life, but who have finally come to acknowledge that and who now cry out to God to forgive them and to come to their aid.
In heaven, we will be among giants, the heroic souls of the centuries, the great martyrs, like St. Jean de Brebeuf, St. Isaac Jogues, St. Thomas More and St. John Fischer, St. Lawrence, St. Stephen. Sts. Perpetua and Felicity. St. Paul and St. Peter, and so many more. There’s no doubt that we’ll be tiny in their presence, but the more we learn to love in this life, the more comfortable we are going to be in their presence.