Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Year A 25 October 2020
God and My All.”
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.” Mt. 22: 36
The love of God brings us great joy! St. Augustine told us that we can only be happy with loving God completely: “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” (Confessions, Book 1) We were made for God and will be unhappy until we love him. We need to love God with our whole being as today’s gospel ( Mt. 22:34-40) tells us: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.” Mt. 22:36. We need to imitate St. Francis of Assisi who praised God continually with these beautiful words: “My God and my all.”
How to love God with our whole being!
Our whole being especially includes the soul with its memory, understanding and will. Our memory informs our understanding (intellect) on what it should do and then our will either do or not do it. We can love Go with our whole will or not! Ideally, we should prefer nothing to God! We love God with our whole soul when we are determined not to do any sin: “ If you love me, keep my commandments.” Jn. 14:15 When we know God, we must love him: “And by this we know that we have known him, if we keep his commandments. He who saith that he knoweth him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” I Jn. 2:3-4 How do we love God with our whole mind? We love God with our whole mind we think only God who is always present to us!
The Love of Neighbour
The Second Commandment given to us by Jesus includes our love for our neighbour: “And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Mt. 22:39 If we truly love God, who loves us infinitely, we have to love our neighbour also: I Jn. 4:7 “Dearly beloved, let us love one another, for charity is of God. And everyone that loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God.” I Jn. 4:7 Our charity must extend to all “He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shall shut up his bowels from him: how doth the charity of God abide in him?” I Jn.3:17
God Abides in the Soul with Sanctifying Grace
God has so loved us that He shares His life with us when we are in the state of sanctifying grace. Jesus said, “If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him.” Jn. 14:23 When God comes to us with His grace, He gives us the seven gifts of Holy Spirit: wisdom, knowledge, understanding, piety, fortitude, counsel and fear of the Lord. In addition to gifts of the Holy Ghost, soul also received the seven infused virtues the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity and the four cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude. With these gifts and virtues, soul also receives the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost: peace joy, charity, goodness, kindness, patience, gentleness, generosity, faithfulness, modesty, chastity and continence. With all these virtues, the soul also receives the blessings of the Eight Beatitudes: poverty, meekness, purity of heart, hunger and thirst for justice, mournful, peaceful, patient in suffering and merciful. All these blessings come loving God with all one’s heart and keeping the commandments. St. Thomas Aquinas commenting on joy said: “The virtue of joy is not distinct from charity but a certain act and effect of it.” All these blessings and virtues come from loving God who will love us and come and live us with His sanctifying grace.
Love of God is Love of our Neighbour
“ If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother; he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother, whom he seeth, how can he love God, whom he seeth not?” I Jn. 4:20 In today’s First Reading (Exodus 22:21-26) Moses teaches the Jews on the need to care for their neighbour: “You shall not hurt a widow or an orphan. If you hurt them they will cry out to me, and I will hear their cry: And my rage shall be enkindled, and I will strike you with the sword, and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.” (Ex. 22: 22-4)
“God is Love” I Jn. 4:16
Nowadays, most people have a mistaken notion of love. Love must be from God and for God first and foremost. For some it is really selfishness and even lustfulness. St. Teresa of Avila said: “Love has it greatest power when perfect. Then we forget our own feelings for the sake of the one we love. If this is really the case, if we seek only to please God, then even the greatest trials will be made sweet.” (Foundations, 5, 10) If we wish to have peace and joy in our lives and in our families, we need to love God above all things and be kind to all! Remember, “The family that prays together, especially the Holy Rosary, will stay together.”