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The Language of Selfless Love
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law, tested him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, I love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I thank you for creating and redeeming me and for inviting me to a deeper relationship with you. I believe in you and hope you will sustain me. I ask for the grace to love others as you do.
- The First Commandment: Jesus teaches us to love God above all else. Love means taking the beloved into account before making important decisions. It is natural to avoid behaviors that would hurt, harm, or disrespect a loved one. So, too, we should be attentive that our actions are pleasing to God. If we consult a spouse before making a big decision, why wouldn’t we pray and consult God about what is happening in our lives? God is always ready to listen and to offer counsel. Let us turn to him when faced with important decisions, showing him the greatest love and respect, and full of confidence that he will guide us.
- The Second Commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” is a challenging admonition, yet living that way is completely fulfilling. A middle-aged woman once told me that she struggled to find the time to help a bedridden friend with household tasks. The sacrifices she made to find the time enriched her life. She felt truly blessed. God puts people in our path who long for love and support. He invites us to reach out in the same way that we would want others to reach out to us. Even the smallest acts of kindness can be signs of great love.
- The Whole Law: Our human laws work only as well as we are conformed to God’s laws—the laws of love God and love your neighbor. How well our political system would work if everyone was motivated by their love of neighbor! St. Teresa of Calcutta was able to win over adverse political officials by her acts of selfless love for the sick and dying. She entered countries closed to Christianity because those leaders saw her love. True love is a language that rises above politics and self-interest. May our selfless love be a testimony to our love of Christ.
Conversing with Christ: Dear Lord, I long for a peaceful and loving home and homeland. Teach me to be a vehicle of your peace by bringing love wherever I go!
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will look for a soul you place in my path and show him or her show true selfless love.
For Further Reflection: Fr. Leo Maasburg’s book Mother Teresa of Calcutta: A Personal Portrait outlines many inspiring acts of selfless love.
Written by Renee Pomarico.