30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 29/10/2023 - Gospel: Mt 22: 34-40
Shadow Of Love
Love is what we all need; because it is the source of life. It plays a vital role in human relationships, and in nourishing our spiritual development. When we respond spontaneously to the voice of our heart; that love is true, selfless, unconditional love. When we listen to the voice of our mind; our love response is less from the heart, but rather more from the mind. That love involves reasons, conditional love. Selfish love happens when we are in favour of our own desires, and have little concern for the needs of others. It is the love to satisfying oneself; guided by human love. In contrast, unselfish love is the love for others; guided by God's love.

The ancient world had struggled hard to solve the problem of how to fulfil the rules of love. The Jewish law had many rules (613 rules) to observe. Applying these rules of love to real-life situations was a source of ongoing tension for everyone involved. Other problems were the issues of social norms of the land; and the interpretation of the law. Some legalists were very strict in their interpretation, placing law before people; while others were not so; and that would make the same set of laws differ from place to place.

The Pharisees wanted Jesus to get involved in their disputes. They asked Jesus which commandment was the most important. Jesus replied that true love began from one's heart; because when God creates us; God has already put his love in our hearts. We should listen to its voice throughout our lives. If, somehow, our heart is hardened, that is the cause of all disputes. Jesus sums up their code of practice into two commandments. First,

'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind'.

The second command stems from the first,

'Love your neighbour as yourself'.

This teaching places God at the centre of our lives. When God's love guides our relationships; everything flows smoothly. A heart that is filled with God's love will never go wrong in its relationships because it is guided by God's love. That heart is at home with God. The first commandment teaches that we don't love God with a portion of our heart, but with a whole heart. The heart becomes the power force that unites our mind; and together with our soul to the love of God. It is not part of a person, but the unity of the whole person. Any love that flows from that love is true and holy. Like our shadow when we stand under the sun; when our love for others is the shadow of God's love. We love our neighbour not with our own love, but with the radiant of God's grace within our heart. Only in that way, we can fulfil the law of love; and be able to love our neighbour as ourselves.

There are two kinds of love in our hearts: God's love and our own. God's love directs our love, and our love is purified by God's love. God's love alone satisfies our hearts; other kinds of love only make our hearts crave for more; and it will never be satisfied. Our heart is made for God's love, and that explains why our hearts always yearning for true and holy love. When God's love fills our hearts, we live life to the full; and we welcome others into our lives because we recognize that they are our sisters and brothers in God's family. When a heart embraces things of this world; God's love disappears from that heart. For that reason, any heart that embraces things of this material world would not have God's love in its heart. Sharing material things with others; if it is not for God, then is to glorify oneself, for fame, and for recognition; and the world praises him.

Lord, help us to love as you have shown us.