Homily November 4, 2012 Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted in christian, Christianity, ethics, religion, scripture by Fr Joe R on October 30, 2012

In today’s gospel, Jesus summed up a whole history of faith and salvation in two commandments. Legalism and ritual which are okay, but really a means to an end, are put to the side as Jesus tells the scribe the two commandments that are above all the others and upon which the others are based. Finding and carrying out these commandments starts with ourselves. Love is something that starts from our own inner experience and develops as we grow as an individual. We find it in our family and with and through them it grows and ultimately leads us to a love of God. In finding and experiencing God’s love we come to know that loving and sacrificing our self in love is the way of faith and finding God. The pursuit of the world with its vanities and values and excuses and self centeredness, and its concepts of reward and punishment, all confound and hide what is the true value of God’s love. God loves all of us personally. No matter what we do, that love remains perfect. It is what WE do to respond and return that love that determines our relationship with God. He always responds to us, but how do we respond to him? How do we respond to our neighbor? Are we petty, arrogant, harassing, prejudiced, judgmental, unforgiving, or unloving in a hundred other ways? Are these ways of developing and growing in love of finding God who is love itself? Love is a living growing active thing. Certainly the love a young just married couple changes as the years go on. It deepens and unites them all the more. So it is with our Love of God and how we stand with Him.

But let us not be misled. The demands of love are much more demanding than simple legalism or ritual with all their detailed instructions. It means we must be present and give ourself far beyond a very minimal pat answer. Great truths, great laws, great principles are that only if we see them in light of God’s love and the requirements of that love. Seeing our neighbor as ourself, means no one is better or less than we are, we are called to respond in love to those we meet. We share God’s love and bring it to others each time we do that. Just being a joyful, happy person helps doing that.

So, to sum up, Love is not easy, because it requires much work. At the same time it is joyful because it is self-fulfilling and God gives us His love to do it. But then what is ever easy if it is good?

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