30th Sunday in Ordinary Time - A  - October 26, 2014

The Great Commandment

This Week's Blog:

What is the greatest of all God’s commandment?  This is not a trivial pursuit, for the answer to the question gives the inquirer insight into the mind of God.  If we know what is important to God (or what is important in our relationship with him), we will know how God we treat us.  The command to love reveals as much about God’s relationship with us as it does our relationship with him.


WEEKLY BLOG LINK  What messages resonate with us?

NEW!!! VIDEOCAST!!!  In this videocast series connecting the Catechism of the Catholic Church with the weekly gospel reading, we investigate the Great Commandment.  (Please note: the link for this videocast is to my YouTube page.)

MP3 PODCAST In this week’s audio podcast, we discuss the subject of love in action.  Love isn’t really love until it is lived out. 

FIRST READING What do we owe our neighbor?  We can measure that answer when we assume our neighbor is needy.  This was the standard found in the book of Exodus.  We are to treat the poor and the stranger with compassion.  We are to treat our peers in need as equals.  In other words, we are to treat everyone as children of God. 

PSALM Psalm 96 was a hymn of praise that extended beyond the parochial view of the Temple in Jerusalem.  This was a song that encouraged praise from all people to the God of all. 

SECOND READING    The early Christian community at Thessalonika had a sterling reputation of faithfulness.  Unlike the churches at Corinth or Galicia, the Thessalonians did not suffer from heresy or cliques.  They were focused.  St. Paul recognized that their reputation had an evangelical value.  How we conduct ourselves, especially with others, can help spread the Good News. 

GOSPEL By itself, the Great Commandment was not original with Jesus.  Jews sought a hierarchy of commands from the Law, and the first command would interpret the others.   The combination of Deuteronomy 6:5 (“Love the Lord...”) and Leviticus (“Love your neighbor...”) predated Jesus.  The question of Pharisees meant to test the orthodoxy of Jesus.  However, Jesus gave a traditional answer, but his application of these verses were revolutionary.  Love of neighbor meant concern for the needy, the outcast, and, above all, the sinner. 

CHILDREN’S READINGS In the story for the first reading, two sisters encounter a homeless man.  One makes a comment, then shrugs.  The other creates a plan to help the homeless; this sister lived out the command found in the book of Exodus.  In the story for the gospel, Theo demanded action from his teams on their football team.  “Show me” was his cry.  When Jesus gave us the commands to love God above all and love our neighbors as ourselves, he, too, wanted action.  He wanted us to show others what the word “love” really meant. 

CATECHISM LINK The Catechism Link explores the Great Commandment, love for God and love of neighbor.

FAMILY ACTIVITY To teach your family the meaning of the “love” commandments, take some time away from the normal activities of the weekend.  Get away to enjoy nature or the season.  Take time to enjoy each other’s company.  This is a way to put love in action.