Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

[Excerpted from the scripture reflection prepared for the September/October 2017 issue of Emmanuel by Brother John Barker, OFM, of Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois.] Last week’s readings suggested that when we allow our minds to be transformed so that we think as God does, we will have to make sacrifices. This week’s readings focus on a form of sacrifice required of all Christians all the time: loving one’s neighbor as oneself. In his Letter to the Romans, Paul reflects a standard Jewish understanding of his time when he states that the commandments of the law can be summed up thus: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (In a few weeks we will hear Jesus say much the same thing, namely, that the law and the prophets depend entirely upon this commandment as well as the commandment to love God).