REFLECTION by Fr Francis on 30th Sunday Year A ( 24/25 Oct 20 )
In today`s Collect ( Opening prayer ) we ask the Lord to increase our faith, hope and charity and make us love what He commands us to do and merit what He promised.
We cannot really live as Christians without believing, hoping in and loving God.
And Love is the greatest. Every other virtue or good deed exercised apart from Love is empty according to St Paul in his letter to the Corinthians.
The First reading and reading from the Gospel today deal with Love of God and our neighbour.
In the Old Testaments books, God was presented as the Loving God and caring for the poor.
The First reading taken from the Book of Exodus illustrates this very well.
Israelites were told by God there must be no discrimination against or exploitation of the most vulnerable members of society like the widows, the orphans, the poor and the foreigners.
The poor had to be supported by the richer through lending without usury ( no interest!).
This forms a link with our Gospel reading, where Jesus said that the Love of God and love of our neighbour are intimately connected.
Our Lord was asked by one of the Pharisees which of many commandments was the greatest?
We have to know that at that time the Law consisted of 613 commandments.
The answer Jesus gave to this question was brilliant and exactly to the point.
“ You must 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 resembles it. You must love your neighbour as yourself. “
And He added that on these commandments hang the whole Law.
There is really One Commandment of Love consisting of two specific ones. They are inseparable!
“ You cannot truly love God if you do not love your neighbour nor truly love your neighbour if you do not love God “ ( St Bede )
Christ showed us how to live “ the total Gospel” simply by loving God and the neighbour.
He did not say that love of God is the same like love of our neighbour ( we have to love God first and above anything else ) but that we cannot have one without the other.
Sometimes we see the sterile religious people who claim that they love God but without care for others.
On the other side we have peoples who exhaust themselves in working for a better world doing a lot of goodness towards others in need but without faith and love of God.
Both of them live “ a half of Gospel “.
In the commandment to love our neighbour there is also about love of ourselves.
It means that we can love others when we properly love ourselves. It is important, too.
We are not able to offer warmth to others when our own fireplace is cold.
If we have love of self in us – this love will overflow in the form of love of God and others.
Jesus perfectly fulfilled the Law of Love when He died of love for us on the Cross.
Every time when we attend the Mass – the Sacrifice of the Lord and the Sacrament of His love,
we have a full opportunity to experience of that Love and following His example to begin really and truly love God and others. Eucharistic people are on the fire of Christ`s love!
TRUE DIVINE LOVE (according to “ Imitation of Christ “)
An excellent thing, a very great blessing indeed
It makes every difficulty easy and bears all wrongs with equanimity
The noble Love of Jesus spurs to great deeds and excites longing for that which is more perfect
Love tends upwards, it will not be held down by anything low
Nothing is sweeter than Love, nothing stronger or higher, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller
For Love is born of GOD and cannot rest except in GOD
One who is in Love flies, runs and rejoices; he is free, not bound
A lover must embrace willingly all that is difficult and bitter for the sake of the Beloved
And he should not turn away from Him because of adversities!
“If you have no love in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble “
( Bob Hope )
Prayer that binds together all children of Mary to Her Immaculate and maternal Heart
Gift of Mary to the poor and to the simple
There are no sufferings that cannot be borne peacefully so long as a soul is praying the Rosary
Through the Rosary the sick in body and mind will be healed
The Rosary is the means by which Mary attaches souls to Herself and assures them of Her presence and protection
The Rosary is the shield and sword of spiritual battle and assures our victory over the forces of evil
It is a remedy and comfort!
Please pray for the repose of the soul of May Sparey who passed away to the Lord early morning on Wednesday, 21st Oct 2020 at her home in Stubbington.
May she rest in peace!
May you be blessed with an unshakeable trust in GOD`s Love for you
May the Lord, Who conquered the evil one, keep you brave and strong
May you be good witnesses for the Gospel by the love and joy you radiate!
In the Name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!