October 25, 2020

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus finds himself confronted by a group of Pharisees who have gathered to test him. Have you ever experienced a time when it seemed like several people ganged up with a vendetta against you? A scholar challenges Jesus to name the greatest of the commandment of the law. In reply, Jesus quotes from the Shema, a verse from Deuteronomy 6:5, prayed every morning and evening by the people to reference the primary obligation to love God. Moreover, to reveal their hardness of heart, Jesus adds a second obligation of the law, love of neighbor. Love of God is betrayed when we fail to love our neighbor.

Love of God with our whole heart seeks outward expression by showing love to people we encounter. Jesus extends this obligation further when he teaches that even pagans love those who love them. Love of neighbor in the teaching of Jesus is to embrace those who stand against us or have harmed us in some way.

Jesus gave the final answer to this question on the night before he died in the meal he shared with his friends. He said, “I give you a new commandment, love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34).

The Eucharist is the fulfillment of Christ’s love for the world entrusted to us. Saint Peter Julian expresses it in this way: “Love is a consuming fire; everything ought to sustain it, especially what surrounds us, crucifies us, and fills our life. We only need to give back to God everything he gives us, making it pass through the fire of love. As you know, love is active, enterprising, while still being calm and peaceful.” (Correspondence, 210).

After we receive holy communion, we are sent from the Mass; we pledge to be the love of God by actively serving the needs of others with compassion and courage.

Let Us Pray:

“Father, I made known to them your name, and I will make it known that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them” (John 17:26).


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About William Fickel, SSS