Love your neighbour
In Sunday’s Gospel, the 30th in Ordinary Time, God commands human beings to love Him above all things. We can love God because God loved us first. He showed us how to love. From this springs charity, as we realize that we are not worthy of this love. It’s God’s love that teaches and allows us to choose to follow and imitate Him. We have the freedom to say yes to His love or to reject it.
Let’s consider the short reading from Matthew 22: 34:40: “But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to put him to the test, one of them put a further question, “Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?” Jesus said to him, “You must 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 resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets too.”
We have forgotten that poverty of spirit, our fundamental condition before God, the very condition for inheriting the Kingdom, runs the grave risk of becoming a myth if it is not accompanied by a spirit of sharing whatever the particular actions may be that this spirit demands of each of us. We have forgotten that unless we have this spirit of sharing — a sharing of life, a sharing of goods — we cannot be witnesses to Christ who was sent first and foremost to the poor; and we cannot announce the Gospel, the Good News, of poverty of heart.
This Good News is what the hearts of the poor are waiting for. The human heart is made for human brotherhood. Christ said: “You are all brothers.” he left it to us to make those words come alive. He didn’t leave an ideology or a system of brotherhood. We are still the real brothers and the real sisters of everyone. We can’t do anything to change that fact. God has made us such. But we have lived like false brothers and sisters; brothers and sisters who have been untrue, brothers ans sisters who have been wicked.
Yet Brotherly love is the real visible expression of the love of the invisible Father. It is the sign and witness of this love and cannot be separated from it.
The passage was written by Servant of God Madeleine Delbrel, a French laywoman, writer and mystic. She was devoted to the care of the poor and evagenlizing. It’s taken from the Joy of Believing by Ralph Wright. The passage clealry explains the Gospel in practical terms.