30th Sunday O.T. (A).
THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT OF ALL: LOVE GOD WITH YOUR ALL.
“Almighty ever-living God, increase our faith, hope and charity, and make us love what you command, so that we may merit what you promise.” Opening prayer, Mass proper.
1. Love what God commands.
The words above come from the Collect prayer of today’s Sunday Mass. We ask God to increase in us the theological virtues, faith, hope and charity, and to love his commandments so as to receive his promise to eternal life.
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord, and my Father will love him and we will come to him. Gospel Acclamation (Jn 14:23).”
God gave us the Ten Commandments to help us discern good from evil and carry out the good. In today’s Gospel (Mt 22:34-40), Jesus sums up God’s commandments with the following words:
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
2. The love which God asks from us: total and authentic.
Like anyone else, God asks us for a love which is total. If we ourselves are not content with a superficial and inconstant love, so is God.
A love which is total requires loving with one’s ALL, with one’s ENTIRE heart, soul, mind and strength.
Love for God is also inseparable from love for our neighbor such that this is the thermometer of the authenticity and totality of our love for God, the consequence and the result of our love for God. The latter cannot exist without the former and vice-versa.
Moreover, this love for our neighbor must be the same love with which we love ourselves. This is the guideline of our love for our neighbor. When we love by this manner, we are “imitators of our Lord” Jesus Christ (cfr. 2nd reading, 1 Thes 1:5c–10), who taught us to love others “as I have loved you (Jn: 13:34-35)”.
Let us ask the help of Our Lady so that like her, we too may have a total and authentic love towards God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, manifested as well in our love for our neighbor.
“I love you, God, my strength! (Psalm 17)”
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