Vol: 41, No.56 30TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME ( A) October 26 2014  
 

Jesus’ summing up of the law into just two precepts is perfectly traditional and orthodox. In his answer Jesus combines the two positive commandments in the Torah: “You shall love the Lord your God” (Deut 6:5)… “your neighbour as yourself” (Lev 19:18). The two commandments are inseparable, for one cannot love God without loving every person as a child of God. These two commandments focus on a loving relationship as the basis for interpreting all law and the prophets (cf. 7:12). The originality in Jesus’ answer lies in the combination of these two commandments. The combination of the command to love God and love neighbour is distinctive of the synoptic Jesus. Both Deut 6:5 and Lev 19:18 were often quoted in rabbinic ethical discussion, but to bring them together like this as a summary of all the law and the prophets was a brilliantly creative idea of Jesus. In focusing on the two halves of the Ten Commandments (duty to God and duty to our neighbour) it offers a foundation for all our living; and by summing up that duty as love, it goes beyond the specific requirements of the law to the God-like attitude which must underlie them. The two commandments are

 
inseparable. For one cannot love God without loving every person as the child of God. These two commandments focus on a loving relationship as the basis for interpreting all law and the prophets (7:12).
Did Jesus’ summary, mean that his followers could disregard the other 611 precepts of the Torah? At least Matthew did not take it that way. His claim that on these two commandments “hang the whole Law and the Prophets” (22:40) assumes that the whole Law remains in force. Jesus’ love-commandment goes to the root of things and provides a coherent principle for appreciating and observing the other commandments.
With the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in A.D. 70 and the loss of Jewish political control in the land of Israel, the Torah became even more significant in Jewish life than ever before. Matthew saw the love-commandment as giving meaning and direction to the whole Law. He understood the commandment to love God and neighbour as providing a coherent perspective for observing the Law.
–Fr(Dr)Augustine Kanachikuzhy, ssp
“There is a terrible sterility about the lives of those who claim to love God, but in reality dispense themselves from all obligations to love other people. Such people have at best got only half of the Gospel.
“There are others who go to the opposite extreme. They exhaust themselves in working for a better world, but never think of God or pray to Him. Though the latter are on firmer ground, they too have only half of the Gospel – the half believers sometimes throw away.
“Christ showed us how to live the total Gospel, that is, how to love God and to love our neighbour as well. He did not say they were the same thing, but that we can not have one without the other.”
– Flor McCarthy, SDB
October/November 2014 READINGS OF THE WEEK Psalter Week 2
27 Mon (G) Eph 4:32–5:8/Ps 1:1-2.3.4 and 6/Lk 13:10-17
28 Tue (r) Sts Simon and Jude, Aps. – Feast Eph 2:19-22/Ps 19:2-3.4-5/Lk 6:12-19
29 Wed (G) Eph 6:1-9/Ps 145:10-11.12-13ab.13cd-14/Lk 13:22-30
30 Thu

(G)

Eph 6:10-20/Ps 144:1b.2.9-10/Lk 13:31-35
31 Fri (g) Phil 1:1-11/Ps 111:1-2.3-4.5-6/Lk 14:1-6
01 Sat (w) ALL SAINTS, Solemnity, Rev 7:2-4.9-14/Ps 24:1b-2.3-4ab.5-6/1 Jn 3:1-3/Mt 5:1-12a
Forthcoming Issues
2014-10-27
30TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
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Cycle A
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