Today’s Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
When the Pharisaic lawyer (the expert in the law and prophets) asks Jesus (the fulfillment of the law and the prophets) which is the greatest of the 613 commandments of the Jewish law, the Pharisee wasn’t asking because he didn’t know the answer. No doubt being an expert he knew the consensus the rabbis had reached regarding that question. The Pharisee asked the question because he knew the complexity such an answer encompassed — He was asking Jesus to interpret the entire history of the Jewish people, no doubt hoping to discredit Him.
Instead of giving some grand history of Israel and an extensive interpretation of the law, Jesus uses two sentences and gives the perfect plan for our life—a plan that singles out not one commandment, like the Pharisees had requested, but rather uniting two commandments. In essence, Jesus answers the old with the new. He unites love of God with love of neighbor.
How can we truly love God if we do not truly love our neighbor, and how can we truly love our neighbor if we do not truly love God? In today’s Gospel, Jesus invites us to love as God loves. I must admit, for me it is easier to love God than to love like Him. Sometimes loving my neighbor isn’t easy, especially if that neighbor cuts me off in traffic, writes something nasty on my Facebook page, or lies about me to others. It is precisely at times such as this that we must remember Jesus’ answer to the lawyer that day, because it is in following these two commandments that we come to know God’s plan of sheer goodness for our entire life.
Are there times in my day when God is giving me opportunities to love others as He loves me? Today, turn obstacles into opportunities and pray for that person who cut you off in traffic or wrote something unkind on your Facebook wall.
Lord, teach me love like You love. Help me see others as You see them, and guide my words and actions such that when others see me, they see Your love.
Copyright 2017 Kelly Wahlquist
Receive CatholicMom.com newsletters in your inbox, including the Daily Gospel Reflection each morning!
* indicates required