Sunday’s Gospel Reading - for October 26, 2014 (30A) - revolves around the question: “Which commandment of the Law is the greatest?” Another way to put this question is to ask, “What do I need to do to achieve salvation?” Our Discussion Questions will guide your Sunday Bible Study with family, friends and church groups.
the Sunday Gospel according to St. Matthew we encounter Christ in
conversation with a lawyer who has asked him a question, not in order to
learn, but in a malicious plot to destroy Christ. Out of this evil
intent Christ brings forth the beautiful gift of the "greatest
commandment": "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and
first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your
neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the
In his response Jesus takes the opportunity to instruct His people to
encourage us in the truth, teaching us about the foremost duties of life
and teaching us about the proper biblical relationship between love and
A Two-fold Yet Single Commandment
Fr. Alex McAllister SDS shows us how the two commandments quoted are not original to Jesus.
This is very old teaching. The command to love God is from Deuteronomy
6:5 and the command to love one’s neighbour is in Leviticus 19:18. But we do see three firsts,
Fr. James Gilhooley points out to us. For the first time in Jewish
theology, Jesus had taken the two concepts and made them two sides of
one coin. Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio refers to it as the two-sided coin of charity.
Also He was the first to argue that "on these two commandments hang the
whole Law..." Finally, He was a complete original in telling His
audience one must love Jews and Gentiles. The Gentiles were the ones the
Pharisees loved to hate.
Henceforth, Father Cusick makes clear to us, Jesus tells us that the Decalogue, the ten commandments, must now be interpreted in light of this two-fold yet single commandment of love, the fullness of the Law.
“Love God and love your neighbor.”
Christian love is first and foremost about knowing God.
It is a love, according to Fr. Demetrius R. Dumm, O.S.B., that comes
from the goodness of God, the one who loves and reaches out
instinctively to anyone who is in need. After that, it is about loving
our neighbor. Love for God, explains Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, comes to its own identity
through its fulfillment in a love for neighbor. It is in putting God
first in our lives and incarnating that love through acts of sharing,
service, commitment, prayer, hospitality, etc., Fr. John J. Ludvik adds,
that we live that love and make Stewardship a way of life. It is the heart of our daily lives, the springboard of our actions, a practical way of life.
But we also learn something else from verses 37 through 40. Jesus shows
us here implicitly that love to God and love to neighbor flow from God's
love to us in Christ. You can't love God or love neighbor christianly,
Fr. Orlando Sapuay, M.S. clarifies, unless you have experienced the
love and the grace of God yourself. Fr. Joseph Pellegrino says it is the basis of our decisions, the reason for our prayer life.
Creeds and Laws
we end up talking about creeds, dogmas, commandments, and boundaries.
As in any tiny seed, there is present a fairly complete script for this
love's health and growth. Fr. Ron Rolheiser says good creeds, dogmas, and commandments simply lay out that script for love so that it can be consciously read. Fr. John Foley, S. J. says we need these laws to help us.
But the root of law and of life is fair care of others. It is loving
concern under God for human persons. Ultimately it is an imitation of
God’s love for us.
Mass, Decorum and Faith
couple of weeks ago at a Mass celebration, a baby somewhere toward the
back half of the church began screaming. It started at the Eucharistic
prayer and lasted through the Sign of Peace. After several minutes of
this, the priest stopped Mass and asked the parent to take the
uncontrollable baby outside. As you might imagine, calls poured into the
parish office either complaining about the priest or excusing the
parents. Her bottom line? Sometimes things worth our time and effort come with rules and expectations. Mass should be one of them. Read her full essay here.
And any parent knows, Mass with defiant toddlers, wiggly preschoolers,
and teething babies can be anything but peaceful. So as an adjunct to
the above story, we bring you Kate Wicker's "7 Tips for Attending Mass With Young Children." And we think this article by Fr. John J. Ludvik is quite relevant to this discussion as well - "Proper Posture, Gestures and Observance During Mass."
It is a greatly detailed teaching article that reminds us that the
postures we use throughout the liturgy train our bodies so that Christ
may live in us.
And here'ssomething that caught my eye because I was challenged about it by a Protestant friend just in the last week: "Does the Bible Prohibit Religious Images?"
This topic is a real stumbling block for a lot of Protestant
Christians, and even Catholics often are left a bit uneasy, unsure how
to rectify what the Bible seems to say with what the Church teaches. So
let's join Joe Heschmeyer for a serious discussion about idolatry and
How does one become an effective Catholic? Let's start with prayer. Sister Laus Gloriae, O.C.D. offers her "Ten Practical Prayer Tips from the Carmelite Sisters" in response to a reader query on how one can find some time to pray.
Then let's offer some practical tips. Ashley Crouch offers her advice
to incoming freshmen — from someone with experience. She instructs them
on "How to Be a Catholic Woman on Campus." While Marc Barnes talks about "Why It’s Great to Be a Young Catholic."
And there's more tips for you all this week. Borrowing an idea from
Steven Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, this list compiles 7 Habits of Highly Effective Catholics.
Emily Stimpson looks at the aftermath of Vatican II and offers a
back-to-the-basics look at what Catholics should know. She calls it "10 Things Catholic catechists should know." Plus she gives us another list: 19 Words Every Catholic Should Know.
It's a list adapted from the Diocese of Harrisburg’s “Basic Catholic
Vocabulary.” And to top off our set of lists this week, here's Travis
Ketner's five reasons why you should vote in every election.
Bob Hope and His Ladies of Hope
Hope — “the most honored entertainer” ever, according to the Guinness
Book of World Records, for his achievements in theater, radio, film, TV,
philanthropy and business, and an extraordinary record of service to
country, with 199 USO shows around the globe — won the biggest prize of
all in the waning days of his life when he converted to Catholicism. And he had his mother, wife and Our Lady of Hope to thank for making all the difference in his life.
Finally, Leila Miller talks about why she should never have had eight children. Had she listened to the devil and modern conventional wisdom, that is.
Another eventful week in our Catholic World. A blessed and happy new week to
Keep the Faith. Peace.
Publisher & Editor in chief
BURNING QUESTION: What commandments require restitution?
FEATURED BLOG: Does the Bible Prohibit Religious Images?
PASTORAL HISPANA: Jesus Nos Invita a un Amor Integral a Dios y al Projimo
Post a comment below.
Follow us on
Click Here to receive a
FREE SUBSCRIPTION to this weekly email