Gospel Reflection For Sunday 29th October 2023 30th Sunday Ordinary Time – by Fr Brian Maher OMI
Awesomely simple, wonderfully direct, easily understood…..and incredibly difficult.
So often the simplest things are the most difficult to achieve.
This Sunday’s Gospel says this: “Love God, Love your neighbour as yourself.”
And that’s it. There is no more to say…
Join me in reflecting on this simple but profound Gospel.
Gospel Reflection for Sunday October 29th 2023 | 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sometimes, no matter how well-meaning and no matter how eloquent, words only detract from the meaning of a statement. This week’s Gospel is one of those occasions. I have come at it from all kinds of angles – the meaning of love, the importance of loving ourselves, who Jesus meant by ‘my neighbour’, and so many more – and each time I have deleted what I wrote saying to myself, “this adds nothing to what Jesus said in this Gospel. In fact what I’m saying cheapens its meaning.”
There is a time, therefore, for simply letting the words speak for themselves……and this is that time.
Now, lest anyone think that I am taking the easy way out this week and finding an excuse for being lazy, let me say that there is a precedent for this approach.
When Jesus himself went into the synagogue in his home town, Nazareth, we are told that he opened the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah and read the passage: “He has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to liberate the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
The person reading would then explain the text and teach its meaning. It was usual that this ‘teaching’ would last about forty minutes. When Jesus finished reading we are told that, “every eye was upon him” as they eagerly awaited what he would say.
In fact he said one sentence: “Today, this scripture has been fulfilled just as you heard it.”
It was the shortest sermon ever preached!
So, if it’s good enough for Jesus, why not for me?
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
You shall love your neighbour as yourself.
Saying anything more only takes from the awesome simplicity and power of these words.
Just Imagine how different our world would be; how different Israel and Palestine would be; how different Ukraine would be; how different my family would be; how different my work place would be; how different I would be, if I could only do it? “Love God. Love your neighbour as yourself.”
The overwhelming question is this: Why can’t I? Why don’t I? or at least, Why don’t I try…?
If you have any comments, questions or thoughts on this scripture reflection, please feel welcome to email me at email@example.com
|Gospel Sunday October 29th 2023||Matthew 22:34-40|
The commandments of love
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