Gospel Reflection Oct 29 – Deacon Paul Zemanek
Sunday, October 29
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 22: 34-40
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Jesus was frequently challenged by the Pharisees and the Sadducees with trick questions that were designed to try and trip Him up so they could find something against Him.
In today’s reading, one of the scholars of the law asked Jesus, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” We then heard the very familiar words of Jesus when he quoted the Old Testament and the tradition that the Pharisees respected so much, “You shall love the Lord your God” and, the second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Truly friends, our love for God and our love for neighbor are two sides of the very same coin. For you see, we cannot have one without the other.
And today, if we were to truly examine ourselves and determine exactly how much time we spend with God, what would we find? How much time do we give to our fellowship with God? Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once said that “God does not love us because we are valuable, but we are instead valuable because God loves us.”
And so, who are our neighbors that Jesus speaks about? Do we really know what it means to love our neighbors as ourselves? Are we really willing to show love, to show mercy, and to show compassion toward others?
Do you know someone who is struggling with their life? Are you open to helping those who are in need? What keeps you from loving others more consistently?
Friends, today let us be reminded that every person we meet is made in the image and the likeness of God. For God designed us to love one another, to care for one another, and to minister to one another.
Deacon Paul Zemanek