For a full copy of the Newsletter please click on the link; Ordinary Time 30th Sunday 291017
In the Gospel today Jesus is asked to name the greatest commandment. He responds by naming two, both found in the Old Testament. Jesus brought them together and made them of equal importance which is why we must not separate them: Love of God and Love of neighbour. You would not be far off the mark if you were to say that every word of the Gospel comes down to love – love that is simple enough to articulate but so demanding that we shy away from it.
For most of us, the story of our lives is that we find it all too easy come up with reasons and pretexts not to love one another. At the very least, we can easily justify why we are selective at how we apply our love. Before we let ourselves off the hook, we need to remember that in practical terms Jesus’ command to love our neighbour means seeing one another as we see ourselves. It means realizing that our hopes and dreams for ourselves and our families are the same dreams others have for themselves and their families. We are all in this together.
But more than that, every one of us, at one time or other, is an alien, outsider, foreigner and stranger. We all fall under the umbrella of the Great Command to love! The challenge to “love your neighbour as yourself” is not confined to our “own” people or to people who don’t threaten us or to people lower down on the “food chain”. The commandment to love should affect every relationship we have and every decision we make today and during the course of living this coming week.
A further important consideration is that as our society becomes more and more diverse and as science continues to make once unimaginable advances in all forms of technology the challenge of this weekend’s gospel to love becomes more sharply into focus. You see, the ethical and moral questions that technology and modern secular society throws up to us today demands we provide creditable and consistent answers. The Great Commandment gives us the starting point for dealing with such issues: to love as God loves us – without limit, without condition, without counting the cost, completely and selflessly.
May we be authentic this week in living out the “Great Commandment” of the Gospel which translates into having the courage to use all that we have and all that we are to reveal the complete and life-giving love of God in our midst.
Wishing you every blessing for the week ahead,
Fr Peter Brannelly