Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time: October 29, 2017

Deacon John1

In Matthew’s Gospel this morning a young lawyer challenges Jesus to offer what is the greatest commandment. Jesus answers by synthesizing the 613 laws in the Old Testament down to two. First He says:

“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

They knew this from the time of Moses and then He added:

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

He concludes his answer to the young scribe by saying:

“The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

How we measure up to fulfilling these two commandments is measured by how we treat our neighbor. Remembering that neighbor means all that we meet not just the folks we like; or eat with; or talk to; or the ones that look like us; or talk like us; or worship like us. No – neighbor means everyone. We are to love our neighbor (remember that very person made in the image of God – that very person that God loves just as much as He loves us) as ourselves. Jesus ratchets up His desire of how we are to love one another by saying at the Last Supper –


This is a daunting task and perhaps we may never fully achieve the self-less love for one another that Jesus asks for – but we pray that with the Holy Spirit holding us up we may become closer to each other every day. Love one another as I have loved you. Think of it – no more war; no poverty; no homelessness; nobody taking advantage of someone else; no one lying; nobody promoting one agenda over another – sounds far-fetched – impossible for us humans to attain. But with Jesus and the Holy Spirit we can accomplish anything – if we believe – if we put our faith in action.

In a few moments as we hold the real presence of our resurrected Jesus in our hand, we pray with the Holy Spirit to guide our lives and actions. The Communion we share gives us the strength to live and love as Roman Catholic Christians following the examples of Jesus.

We pray that the Holy Spirit fills us with courage to take the first small step. Right a wrong. Reach out a hand. Help someone because they need our help not for what we may get back in return. Nourished at the Table we have the ability to take that step. Nourished at the Table we can Love one another as He loves us.