Saturday, October 25, 2008

A commentary for the 30th Sunday of Ordinary Time by Sr. Carol Falkner, OSB

Today in our Gospel story we have a lawyer asking Jesus which is the great commandment in the law? The answer Jesus gave, “To love God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and to love your neighbor as yourself.” This is also the opening line of The Tools for Good Works in the Rule of Benedict. It is obvious that these are foundational statements not only of our Christian life, but also our monastic life.

In asking this question the Pharisees thought that Jesus would tell them what is most important in the Jewish law. However, Jesus was most concern about the law of love. Jesus was pointing out that no matter what law one would keep, what was essential was that ones words and actions would be born of love.

We meet this same concept in St. Paul’s beautiful, but challenging treatise on love. “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:10) Our Creator God demonstrated love by sending Jesus to bring us forgiveness, to teach us how to love and to reconcile us to God. “Though he was in the form of God he did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. Rather, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave being born in the likeness of humankind.” (Philippians 2:8-11) The love expressed in this passage we experience when we unite ourselves to God’s will.

The world often presents love in undesirable ways. We experience the popular notion of love when we watch television or movies, read magazines and books or listen to many songs. Leo Zanchettin writes that, “We tend to think of love as emotional, sensual, uncontrollable; we fall in love as if we stumbled over it in the dark, or wake up to find that love has gone as if it were a coward that had fled at daylight. But we are called to will and to do what God wants and are empowered to do this by God’s love for us. That, and not a feeling inside, is love of God.”

To love God with our whole heart and our neighbor takes the grace of God. Such love helps each of us be selfless - thinking first of God and then our neighbor. We must be willing to sacrifice our wills so as to follow the will of God. We must be faithful to prayer, selfless in serving others - Ora et Labora. Let us ask ourselves if our prayer and work are acts of love? Only then will God be glorified.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is important to put the law of love before any law, and God is the ULTIMATE Law of Love