Oct 29, 2023: Ex 22:20-26; I Thes 1:5c-10; Mt 22:34-40.
30th Sunday of Ordinary Time
In today’s gospel, Jesus gives to his disciples this important and greatest piece of advice, which is cited in the first sentence of the Jewish Shema prayer: “… you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength" (Dt 6:5). Then He added its complementary law: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Lev 19:18). Certainly, we have all felt love for a person at some point in time in our lives: for our children, parents, spouses, friends, partners etc. But what is this love that Jesus asks us to live as Christians? Today’s world defines to us a love that is full of emotion and desire; this is about the physical or psychological attraction that we call infatuation, that we feel for another person.
Life Message: For us Christians, this conception of love seems deficient, superficial, and transitory, because when difficulties, doubts or infidelities break the relationship, this type of love becomes fleeting and disappears. In short, there is always jealousy, betrayal, manipulation, selfishness, and no serious commitment.
Alternatively, today, Jesus tells us that true love is giving one’s own life for the other helping each other in a selfless, honest, and authentic way. It is a commitment that lasts a lifetime and is built on trust, joy, and mutual respect. In short it is an unreserved love of soul and body, of feelings and mind. Thus, when we love as God and Jesus his son ask us to love, then there will be peace, serenity, and well-being in the couple’s life.
Conclusion: Some examples of sincere love are given to us in today’s 1st reading (Exodus): “You shall not wrong any widow or orphan or poor person”. We must lend a hand to, instead of mocking and abusing, those in our family, or community who have financial problems, those who suffer from addictions, and those who are discriminated against, and are alienated. That’s why, Paul the Apostle writes, "For freedom Christ has set us free... only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh [sinful inclinations], but through love be servants of one another" (Gal. 5:1,13).