XXX Sunday in ordinary time

XXX Sunday in ordinary time

Sab, 24 Ott 20 Lectio Divina - Anno A

1st reading: Exodus: 22:20-26

2nd Reading: 1 Thessalonians: 1:5-10

Gospel: Matthew 22: 34-40

The liturgy of the 30th Sunday of the ordinary time reiterates the purpose of our lives that is to love God above all (horizontal line) and love our neighbors (vertical line)

The first reading reminds us that the love of our neighbours and strangers is the love of God. (Vertical line is must for a horizontal line to stand erect)

Who is the stranger? Resident aliens, people more or less permanently in a community other than their own, were often classed with windows and the fatherless as needing protection we see this in

Deut: 24:14-22, Jer: 7:6, Ezek: 22:7.

As outsiders often without clan protection, they were vulnerable and poor. Lev: 19:10 Deut: 24:14.

Special access to Yahweh is their protection so God repeats that the people would cry because of oppression and I will surely hear their cry. As in vv.22-24, the compassionate God watches over the weak. Amos 2:8 accuses the wealthy of sleeping upon garments taken in pledge.

The second reading is the example of this commandment of God. As Paul believes that, the Christian life the Thessalonians takes place under the providence of God. Their life is one of a dynamic faith ie belief expressed in life; manifested love ie a love expressed in action that is sometimes difficult and steady hope.

The last part of the verse stresses the apostle's lifestyle as an important witness to the authenticity of their message.

As the people of Thessalonica had become the imitators of Paul and the Lord, they in turn became the examples for other “believers” “active faith” joy. This is an eschatological reality the gift of the spirit Gal: 5:22. The experience of joy suggests that one is in the presence of God and it denotes the preoptic realization of the eschatological gift because of the proclamation of the good news.

No one ever said being a follower of Jesus was going to be easy! We are not only asked to have a relationship with God, we are also called and challenged to be aware of and concerned about those with whom we live and work. We are to love our friends and family as we love God and ourselves. We are reminded of this when we read in the bible, how can we love God whom we cannot see and not love our brother or sister whom we do see?

Being a Christian and a follower of Jesus is about relationships. Being a disciple of Jesus is about how I live my daily life concerning others and God. It is not a private thing between God and me. If I say I love God but do not take the time to be aware of and concerned about around those me, then something very important is missing. If I pray, but then ignore those around me at home or at work that needs my help, what is the point of me praying? Praying is not about pleasing God or making myself feel better. Prayer is about me nurturing and nourishing my friendship with God. Then, having prayed and precisely because I have prayed, I am asked and called to turn my attention to those around me who need my help, support, and love.

 

 In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus reminds us that whatever we do for each other, we do for and to Jesus himself. Whatever we fail to do for each other, we fail to do for Jesus. The smallest gesture of love can often have the greatest impact.

 

 It is often through very small seemingly unimportant deeds, actions and gestures of love that our love for others and our faith can be seen and made visible. One poet wrote that God is the bits and pieces of every day. We should never underestimate the power of a small gesture such as a smile, a hand on a shoulder or a kind word. How about these small acts of kindness in our daily lives?  How do we love God, our brothers, sisters and ourselves with all our heart, mind and soul?

 

 This week, may we be more aware that God is in the bits and pieces of our ordinary daily lives. May we love God with all our heart, soul and mind. May we love our neighbours as we love ourselves.