The first reading on Sunday, the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, establishes rules for the life of the community of faith.
The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell the sons of Israel this:
‘“You must not molest the stranger or oppress him, for you lived as strangers in the land of Egypt. You must not be harsh with the widow, or with the orphan; if you are harsh with them, they will surely cry out to me, and be sure I shall hear their cry; my anger will flare and I shall kill you with the sword, your own wives will be widows, your own children orphans.
‘“If you lend money to any of my people, to any poor man among you, you must not play the usurer with him: you must not demand interest from him.
‘“If you take another’s cloak as a pledge, you must give it back to him before sunset. It is all the covering he has; it is the cloak he wraps his body in; what else would he sleep in? If he cries to me, I will listen, for I am full of pity.”’
The lives of the members of the community of faith are not determined particularly by how they relate with each other, but how they relate with all their neighbours.
God is God for all and we are to be the good neighbour of all – acting lovingly towards all.
(Regular readers of the blog may recognise that the above is a reposting of last week’s ‘a week too early’ posting. The paragraph that follows is new, as is the picture of Michalangelo’s Moses!)
Last week’s Synod in Rome reminded that often we can see fault and failing in others – and that surely we can see this in ourselves too – but that the call of the Gospel, the call of love, is to work for the health and the well-being of all. And surely the ground for that is to act lovingly towards all,
The statue of Moses is by Michelangelo. Photograph (c) 2014, Allen Morris.