Exodus 22:20-26; Ps 18:2-4, 47, 51; 1 Thess 1:5c-10; Mt 22:34-40
Thank you Holy Spirit, for increasing your knowledge and understanding in us.
We can get caught up in a lot of discussions about the Sunday Biblical texts. I look to explain simple things to understand more.
We are at the end of St. Matthew’s gospel and the Jerusalem rabbis are more and more looking for ways to trap Jesus and get rid of him because so many Jews were following him. Their plots were getting more urgent. I don’t think we are at that point in our faith walk.
Psalm 18 encourages us to thank God for his strength, guidance and at times protection in the midst of a lot of evil and confusion around us. In so many of the gospel stories, Jesus put loving actions into the ways that he cared for people. None of us are perfect.
We see in the worldwide church Jesus founded, so many ways God’s love continues to provide for us. If we are daily connected to God, his love flows from us to those around us. We have an opportunity to be a special blessing to others in a “not so loving world.”
Commandments of love
In the Gospel today Jesus tells the Pharisees that the two great commandments are to love God and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Many people don’t love themselves because they have not received good love from their parents, relatives and friends around them. Jesus can heal that.
St. John in his first letter tells us:
“This is what love is: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we should love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God abides in us, and his love is made complete in us,” 1 John 4:10-12.
How God loves us today
The more we prayerfully read the gospels, we see how much God loves us through the ways Jesus loved people then. Jesus is still loving us today in and through the people who belong to his church. The more we get involved in Church life and receive the great blessings God gives us through the good people in the church, the more we can be part of those good people. Daily we get filled with more of God’s love and go out into the world to bring his love to those who desperately need that love.
May Jesus in the power of his Holy Spirit continue to fill us and us to be his instruments of more love for others. Have a blessed week. Keep glowing for Jesus.
Please keep praying for wisdom for our government leadership to keep us safe from nuclear attacks and ways to “make American great again.”
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2017 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)