Love is the Key
22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines
October 31, 2021
Readings: Deuteronomy 6:1-9
We sit at the feet of Jesus to hear Him teach us the secrets and mysteries of the kingdom. He uses parables and speaks of the culture of that time. It is a challenge for us to try to understand the meanings. God gave Moses 10 commandments; 4 of which tells us how to treat God, and 6 of which tells us how our fellowmen should be treated.
As Israel progressed, the men were given assignments. Some were tasked to be scribes. The scribes were those who were protecting the law. They discussed the law to the letter and were rigid towards it. It came to a point where there became 613 different detailed laws and the people had a hard time following each and every single one of these laws. Christ wants things simple and yet man makes things complicated.
It was written that one scribe came to Christ in Jerusalem and asks Him, “Teacher. What is the most important law? What is the dignity of it?” Christ was a very diplomatic person. He used the law to explain the answer. “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is One God.” The most important thing in our lives is to put God in the center. Loving God with all our heart, our soul, our mind, and all our strength.” Why is the heart the first? Because the heart is the center. The very essence of our lives is love. The very foundation of our lives is love. God created us this way. This is who we are. Everything should be done out of love for God and then of man. As you are loved by God, so are we to love others. We should not hold grudges. We are to love and forgive one another. There is no greater commandment than this: Loving God and loving your neighbor.
Leviticus 19:18 Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”
We have been created as creatures of love. We should be able to manifest this. Jesus responded to the scribe, “you are not far from the kingdom of God.” God is telling us that in whatever we do we should give honor to Him each day and not only on Sundays. The key word here is “love.”
Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.” Even if it may be difficult to treat your neighbor nicely, you should still operate in love.
1 Corinthians 13:3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
Christ wants us to care for each other, for us to share our blessings to those in need. We see the best example in Christ, who was willing to take upon flesh and identify with man.
Hosea 6:6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
We have taken the things of God and made them into religion. We cannot substitute love with rituals and ceremonies. What you hate for yourself, do not do it to someone else.
Malachi 2:10 Do we not all have one father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our ancestors by being unfaithful to one another?
God is speaking to us today; “you are not far from the kingdom.” God gave us life and that we may have it abundantly. Abundance here pertains to more than just finances and material possessions. It’s an abundance of peace and joy in knowing God. If we would only open our eyes to the truth of God’s words that He has blessed us. (Genesis 1:27-28)
2 Corinthians 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
Psalm 8:5 Yet you made them a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.
God has written His Spirit in us, He has put His law in our hearts, He has opened our eyes. Because of Christ, we are righteous. He has given us the life. He is a God of greatness, forgiveness and love. May we put things in its proper place – Loving God first, and loving our neighbor as ourselves.
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