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Love Fulfills The Law

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (29/10/2023)

(Exodus 22:20-26; Psalm 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51; 1 Thessalonians 1:5c-10; Matthew 22:34-40)

Fr Samuel Odeh

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3).

No one can be a believer without respecting the laws of God, but what we learn today is that no one can keep those laws without at the same time being loving and caring persons.  Our first reading from Exodus spells out faithfulness to God as involving the active love and care of strangers, widows, orphans and the poor.  These are among the most vulnerable, defenceless and powerless in any society and so oppressing them or exploiting them in any way is especially forbidden and God himself will take up their cause on their behalves.  In the Gospel, Jesus responds to a question asking which was the greatest of God’s commands.  For Jesus, no one can be faithful to God without loving him and their neighbors.  Jesus came to show a better way, slightly different from the overly legalistic approach of his fellow countrymen. 

Serving God by obeying laws without love in our hearts makes religion sinful and burdensome.  The laws of God are to be seen rather as God’s good gift designed to repair the ravages and damages caused to the human being by sin, evil, and selfishness.  Jesus came to fulfill God’s laws by showing us how to live and die in a loving and unselfish manner.   We pray for an increase in our hearts, in our lives and our daily practice of religion, for an active and sincere love for God and our neighbors.

At the evening of life, they will judge you on love.” (St John of the Cross)


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