Appleton, WI

Oct 25 Homily Connect: Love Your Neighbor

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 25, 2020

Ex-22:20-26 1Thes 1:5c-10, 37-39   MT 22:34-40


“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.”

A True Story-How Can I Help by Ram Dass and Paul Gordman

  • The aging mother in need and the daughter’s help
  • The reasons for help
  • The love is enough

The Gospel – Jesus in the Corner Once Again

  • The scholars ask about the greatest commandment
  • Question problematic – Jews had over 600 laws to consider
  • In prioritizing, Jesus refers to the Jewish “Shema”
  • It’s the single-hearted love every person is to have for God
  • Place on a tiny scroll in a small container worn around the neck or on the wrist
  • It’s placed on the doorpost of every Jewish home
  • Love God with everything you have in you!

Jesus’ Combination is Brilliant

  • You must love your neighbor
  • Two laws are located in different parts of Hebrew scriptures
  • You cannot love God without loving your neighbor
  • You cannot love your neighbor without loving God
  • Included in this is love of oneself-difficult for us

Jesus is Crystal Clear

  • The organizing principle is love
  • It is the inner organization of our interactions with others
  • Not fear, jealousy, envy, competition, anger, guilt, defensiveness, judgementalism or righteousness
  • Love always wants the best for each other
  • We want the best for our black, brown, Moslem, Jewish and immigrant brothers and sisters

Pope Francis and the Latest Buzz

  • Civil unions and our gay brothers and sisters
  • Pope Francis reminds us that we must want the best for our gay brothers and sisters
  • Consider the loving rights of a civil union
  • God loves his children just as we are
  • Pope Francis is not changing the definition of sacramental marriage

Pope Francis Reminds us to Keep Love in our Hearts

  • We have to want the best for everyone
  • It can be a struggle
  • We all want to get to a better place

Love is:

  • Being willing to listen
  • Offering a place of safety
  • Welcoming those pushed aside

Can we?  Will we?

  • Want the best for every person?
  • Only love can change us

Questions for Reflection

  • What impacted you from today’s Gospel and/or homily?
  • When does love pour fourth from you easily?
  • When is it the most difficult to love and want the best for others?

Live Connected

Consider people in one or more areas of your life where it is difficult want the best?  What might it have to do with you? What might it have to do with them?  Pray for guidance in opening your heart to authentically wanting the good for them