30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 25/10/2020 - Gospel: Mt 22: 34-40
Double Commandments
The disputes amongst the Jewish Leaders over which commandment was the most important, had no ending. Some held the view that circumcision was the most important; others argued that keeping the Sabbath was the paramount command. Others again believed that to love Yahweh was the essence of the Law (Deut 6:5). The lawyer who represented this view asked Jesus: 'Which is the greatest commandment of the Law?'.  He hoped, that  Jesus would lend him His support. Jesus quoted the teaching from Deut 6:5 which says: Love God with all one's mind and heart is the greatest commandment. However, Jesus didn't stop short. He added more to that commandment. He called it the second commandment. The first commandment was our commitment to worship God alone; and the second commandment was our obligation towards others. For Jesus, loving God and loving God's people, are interconnected. Loving God without doing any good work; love has no essence. It is only a lip- service. Doing things for others without giving any glory to God, such work has more to do with men. Society will reward that person with praise and fame for oneself. To love others as oneself means to recognize, that everyone is a special gift God has created. It is to recognize God's image in that person. The word 'resemble' means the second commandment must make the first commandment visible, and useful for others, and they give glory and praise to God. Resemblance also means we must love others with the same kind of love that God loves us. When we love someone with the same kind of love, that God loves us, our human love will be transformed to the divine love. It is possible, because God's love in us makes the change. Human love is often biased and conditional. God's love is unconditioned and full of compassion. When we love others with the divine love, God's love is active in the world, and relevant to the lives of others. God's love is not passive but active. Because God's love is active, it always creates. Active love gives birth to a new creation, creating something new, and good, and useful, out of love. God's creative love is demonstrated clearly in the Account of Creation; the first two chapters of the book of Genesis. We are given the gift of creation in a different way. We don't have to create something big and significant, but something small, simple, and down to earth. In doing our daily chores at home and at work, we need to give a word of support when someone is down; we need to give a gesture of kindness when someone needs help; we need to give a word of forgiveness when someone wrongs us. These simple acts are insignificant in the story of creation, but they are significant to the lives of others, because these acts support life. God's love is active and sacrifices. Jesus has demonstrated His ultimate love for the human race on the Cross. God's love is redemptive, saving, rescuing and renewing. Our love resembles God's love when we make our family happy; when we see the purpose of our life on earth; when we make the faith community a welcoming community. When members of a family household love each other with the same kind of love, that God loves us, that family is a happy family. Life is no longer a burden. Happiness and peace are companions on the journey.