The gospel heard at Mass yesterday, the 30th in Ordinary Time, speaks of law and love.
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question, ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said, ‘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 also.’
However often we have heard the scriptures, this word proves to be a living word, and presents itself fresh, attuned to our present circumstances.
Challenged by those whose preoccupation is the Law, Jesus reminds that the heart and fulfilment of the Law is love.
There can seem tension between the keeping of the law and the challenge to faithfulness that comes from the prophets and often seems to take us beyond the law. But the Law is Love.
The grit that produces the pearl which is holiness and godliness is often our recurrent failure to live love. For when by the word we know our failure we also know afresh that the one who humbles us is Love, and He who is love helps us to re-turn to himself and ourselves.
In our repentance we are met by love and a new and deeper relationship is established between us and the Lord, full of potential for a deeper relationship between us and our neighbour, us and our world.
- For what do you want to say sorry?
- For what does The Lord want to forgive you?
The image is of St Francis embracing, and being embraced by, the risen Lord. It comes from the sanctuary of La Verna, Tuscany, Italy. (c) 2014, Allen Morris