Homily: Thirtieth Sunday Year A Only way to God

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Homily: Thirtieth Sunday Year A

 

Reading 1: Last Sunday, we heard: “I am the Lord, your God. There is no other God besides me.” It was in this context that God revealed the Ten Commandments to his people, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The first three deal with our relationship with God directly. The other seven deal with our relationship with one another, especially the most vulnerable: aliens, widows, orphans, the poor and the needy. We are not to oppress, wrong, abuse or take advantage of those who are the most vulnerable in society.

 

We are to hear the cry of these people in their need. Because of our relationship with God we are to do all we can to help them. Why? God has shown his mercy and love to us.

 

God reminded the Israelites that they were once aliens, enslaved in a foreign land. God heard their cry and delivered them through mighty signs and wonders.  When the shoe is on the other foot how quickly they and we forget our own past. Who is God to you? What has God done for you? What does God ask of you?

 

Gospel: How did Jesus silenced the Sadducees? They had tried to trick and discredit Jesus concerning the resurrection from the dead, which they did not believe. Jesus turned the tables against them and showed them the absurdity of their thinking.

 

Now the Pharisees wanted to trap and discredit Jesus. Besides the Ten Commandments, over the centuries the religious leaders had burdened the people by imposing more than over 600 precepts. If they wanted to be righteous, the people had to keep all these precepts exactly.

 

When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus, who knew the Scriptures, sums up the Ten Commandments into two. Love God with your whole heart and love your neighbor.  Jesus, as a faithful Jew, knew and recited the great Schema several times during the day, keeping before him his relationship with God. “Hear, O Israel, the Lord alone is God. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength and your neighbor as you love yourself.”

 

This is the response Jesus give the Pharisees. In another Gospel, Jesus concludes: “Do this and you shall have eternal life.” Basically, Jesus was reminding them to keep first things first.

 

Our relationship with God can be simple or complicated by us. Everything boils down to our love God and our love of all others.  Why am I doing or saying what I am doing or saying? Is it out of a motive of love of God and love of others? That is the basic message of Jesus. Do everything out of true love. Doesn’t Jesus indicate one of the basic measurement that God will use at our judgment is love.  “What you do to the least, you do to me.”

 

Reading 2: Paul continues his letter to the Thessalonians. Last Sunday, Paul praised them for receiving the word he preached as truth, because they were convicted by the Holy Spirit.  Paul acted out of love in reaching out to them. They in turned acted out of love in their response. Here he expressed it by saying: “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, becoming a model for all believers.” They acted in love, because they were waiting the return of the Lord.

 

The way to simplify our complicated lives is to choose to love God and our neighbor in all that we do. 

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