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Homily (Reflection) for Friday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time (I) (23rd August, 2019) on the Gospel
 
Ruth 1:1.3-6.14-16.22;
Ps 145:5-10. (R. v. 2);
Matt 22:34-40.
Topic: Not just the greatest.
The Pharisees gathered and one of them, a lawyer asked Jesus, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He replied citing two scriptural passages,
‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it. ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’ cf. Deut 6:5; Lev 19:18.
The concept of love many have seems to be very far from what Jesus demands. Although the word (love) often comes out of many mouths yet hatred keeps escalating. And we always have thousands of reasons why we do not love others as Jesus commanded.
Jesus asks us to love others as He loves us, cf. Jn 13:34. 15:12. Because of His love for us, He died for us while we were still sinners, (cf. Rom 5:8), ate from the same bowl with a traitor, (cf. Matt 26:23; Mk 14:18), and even washed his feet, cf. Jn 13:5-12. Jesus set these as examples for us to follow, cf. Jn 13:15.
Love therefore is not just the greatest of all the commandments but also the hardest. It is unconditional and can only be found in God who is love, cf. 1Jn 4:8, 16. The best one can find elsewhere are just reflections of love. Although true love is truly the hardest of all the commandments, with God it is possible, cf. Lk 18:27. Whoever wants to truly love must do so in God.
Bible Reading: Rom 5:6-8, 31-39.
Thought for today: God is love (1Jn 4:16).
Let us pray: May God who is love transform us into loving beings – Amen.
You are free to share this reflection with others if you consider it worthy.

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