Created To Love
20th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines
October 25, 2020
Readings: Exodus 22: 21-27
1st Thessalonians 2: 1-8
Matthew 22: 34-36
God has prepared great things for us. We shouldn’t expect anything less. We have accepted things in the world we have considered ‘’normal’’ as the standard norm – sickness, disease, pain, and suffering. Things which are all a result of sin.
The lessons we are receiving these past Sundays are letting us know that we should not live in fear, but instead bring out the joy that God brings to us.
Jesus in His Ministry was causing uneasiness among the “political factions’’ of that time. There were the Pharisees who were practicing the Law to the letter. They were the legalistic arm of the Law. The Sadducees on the other hand rejected the immortality of the soul – they did not believe in the afterlife. They just believed in the human existence of the present. Both parties were in constant conflict with each other.
In our Gospel today, we see the Pharisees coming to Jesus and asking Him which was the greatest or most important of all commandments. Some of them believed it was the circumcision; some said it was observing the Sabbath. But Christ’s response was, ‘’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22: 37- 40)
Jesus was speaking about the foundation of the kingdom. Our will, our thoughts, our emotions should be aligned with His. The foundation of our life should be love. We are created to love. It’s a different concept of love. The very essence of who we are is deeper than emotions. It should be the source of our lives and we should be above all the insecurities and uncertainties that the world brings. True love corrects. It can be painful at times. But the end product is always good.
Psalm 103 – Praise the Lord, o my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Who satisfied your desires with goods things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
Romans 13: 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.
1st Timothy give instructions to leaders to focus in doing God’s will for the ministry.
1st Corinthians 13:8 Love never fails.
We should always meditate on who we are and what we have been created for. God’s love should direct our thoughts. We need to see the good in things and situations. For instance, the Pandemic may be evil on the surface- but the good it brought was to unite families.
1st John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God, but hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
Leviticus 19:18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.
Proverbs 18: 24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly. But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother
As God’s children, we are to function in love and act in an attitude of love. We are His creation. And therefore we belong to Him. He gave us life that we may be restored. He instituted marriage that this love can be demonstrated. He gave us liberty and the freedom to choose what is right and what is wrong.