Sundays Reflection With Dr Scott Hahn

Love Commanded

Readings:
Exodus 22:20-26
Psalm 18:2-4, 47, 51
1 Thessalonians 1:5-10
Matthew 22:34-40

Jesus came not to abolish the Old Testament law but to fulfill it (see Matthew 5:17)

And in today’s Gospel, He reveals that love – of God and of neighbor – is the fulfillment of the whole of the law (see Romans 13:8-10).

Devout Israelites were to keep all 613 commands found in the Bible’s first five books. Jesus says today that all these, and all the teachings of the prophets, can be summarized by two verses of this law (see Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18).

He seems to summarize the two stone tablets on which God was said to have engraved the ten commandments (see Exodus 32:15-16). The first tablet set out three laws concerning the love of God – such as the command not to take His name in vain; the second contained seven commands regarding love of neighbor, such as those against stealing and adultery.

Love is the hinge that binds the two tablets of the law. For we can’t love God, whom we can’t see, if we don’t love our neighbor, whom we can (see 1 John 4:20-22).

But this love we are called to is far more than simple affection or warm sentiment. We must give ourselves totally to God – loving with our whole beings, with all our heart, soul and mind. Our love for our neighbor must express itself in concrete actions, such as those set out in today’s First Reading.

We love because He first loved us (see 1 John 4:19). As we sing in today’s Psalm, He has been our deliverer, our strength when we could not possibly defend ourselves against the enemies of sin and death.

We love in thanksgiving for our salvation. And in this become imitators of Jesus, as Paul tells us in today’s Epistle – laying down our lives daily in ways large and small, seen and unseen; our lives offered as a continual sacrifice of praise (see John 15:12-13; Hebrews 13:15).

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 24, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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It is far easier to point out the sins of others, to judge and condemn them. But have we first examined our own lives first? Are we ourselves sinful? Or have we rationalised and then justified all that we had done wrong? Unless we come clean and are truly sorry for our sins, we will never grow in faith, love and charity. We will never grow in our relationship with our heavenly Father. We deprive ourselves of our heavenly inheritance.

Sweet Jesus help me overcome my prideful ways. I come before You with a repentant heart, have mercy on me Lord. Let me excel in the vocation our heavenly Father has chosen for me. So that in union with my brethren, we as one body humbly work together to build His Kingdom now and forever. Amen

First reading
Ephesians 4:7-16

Gospel
Luke 13:1-9

Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, ‘Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’
He told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, “Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?” “Sir,” the man replied “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.”’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 23, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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We see the signs of our time, the many voices calling for change. Let us be more merciful, loving, kind and tolerant. Virtues indeed of living a Christian life. But we have to be wary and on our guard when a similar call for mercy, kindness and tolerance are for those who want to continue living out a sinful lifestyle and in sin. Yes we love the sinner but we must despise the sin! For it is not a matter of ‘live and let live’ but ‘live and let die.’ If we truly love them then we will want to save their souls.

Lord Jesus help us lead a life centred on You. Your call to Holiness is for all of us to be united as one in communion with You. And to do so is to constantly examine our conscience through the working of the Holy Spirit. In Your mercy let us always be reconciled to You. Be our voice of truth and reason as we go forth into the world to share the message of God our Father’s love in the Gospels. Amen

First reading
Ephesians 4:1-6

Gospel
Luke 12:54-59

Jesus said to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud looming up in the west you say at once that rain is coming, and so it does. And when the wind is from the south you say it will be hot, and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the face of the earth and the sky. How is it you do not know how to interpret these times?
‘Why not judge for yourselves what is right? For example: when you go to court with your opponent, try to settle with him on the way, or he may drag you before the judge and the judge hand you over to the bailiff and the bailiff have you thrown into prison. I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the very last penny.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 22, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Lord Jesus purify my heart, my thoughts and words; my soul. And that of my family dear to me. However if they refuse You and Your all encompassing love. Let me be first an instrument of Your faith, love and mercy to bring them back to You. And if by their own stubborn waywardness still refuse to listen Your call to conversion. Give me the strength to leave them behind so as to move forward in loving and serving You.

Lord Jesus, let me dive into the the depths of Your love. So that my whole life will be planted with Your love and built on Your love. And in union with You, I may bring others to the same faith and encounter of Your love. Amen

First reading
Ephesians 3:14-21

Gospel
Luke 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already! There is a baptism I must still receive, and how great is my distress till it is over!
‘Do you suppose that I am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on a household of five will be divided: three against two and two against three; the father divided against the son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law, daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 21, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Everyday Lord I struggle to remain faithful and true to Your Word. There are so many distractions and just as many temptations. I am somewhat impatient and easily fall sometimes in allowing anger to take control. Still I will embrace the struggle to persevere in holiness for my love of You.

I am not fearful of punishment for sinning against You so much as I am fearful of hurting and letting You down.

Today Lord I am reminded of my responsibility and by Your example that true love is born of sacrifice. A love that wills the good for and in others. Let me also share with all whom I meet, the greatest love story ever to be told. The love story of God our Father’s love for us His children. His great love for us manifested through His loving Son, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.

I want to stand ready to greet You, and hear You say to me “Come my good and faithful servant. Come share in your Master’s joy.” Amen

First reading
Ephesians 3:2-12

Gospel
Luke 12:39-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house. You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’
Peter said, ‘Lord, do you mean this parable for us, or for everyone?’ The Lord replied, ‘What sort of steward, then, is faithful and wise enough for the master to place him over his household to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Happy that servant if his master’s arrival finds him at this employment. I tell you truly, he will place him over everything he owns. But as for the servant who says to himself, “My master is taking his time coming,” and sets about beating the menservants and the maids, and eating and drinking and getting drunk, his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.
The servant who knows what his master wants, but has not even started to carry out those wishes, will receive very many strokes of the lash. The one who did not know, but deserves to be beaten for what he has done, will receive fewer strokes. When a man has had a great deal given him, a great deal will be demanded of him; when a man has had a great deal given him on trust, even more will be expected of him.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 20, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Today O Lord my God, while I rejoice at being Your child, I am saddened that are many who still do not know You. They live in darkness and many are lost; some are still searching while others have abandoned hope altogether. I am ashamed that I have done so little to bring Your message of love to them. I’ve let my fear of rejection and weakness overshadow me.

Jesus I place all my faith and trust in You. Guide me and lead me to do Your Will. Let Your light shine through me so that I may lead Your flock home to You. I stand ready and eager to serve You. May You never find me wanting or asleep. All my strength comes from You. Amen

First reading
Ephesians 2:12-22

Gospel
Luke 12:36-38

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit. Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks. Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on them. It may be in the second watch he comes, or in the third, but happy those servants if he finds them ready.’

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: October 19, 2014 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Unless one is born in hardship and strive, it is far more difficult to share or to be content with enough. We want more than we need and frequently with the accompanying excuse of saving it for a rainy day. It never seems enough, money, food, clothing, shoes, bags, gadgets, cars, even houses. Often with greed there is selfishness and a whole lot of self centredness. What then becomes of us?

God our Father made us for Himself, we are created for more to be more in His heavenly Kingdom. Where material wealth has no currency. And while we brought sin into the world, which robbed us of our heavenly inheritance, Christ our Lord came to liberate and save us. So that through Him our heavenly inheritance is restored. Let us work tirelessly for treasures not of this world, for which can neither be bought nor earned. Our Father bestows them on us freely in His love. Amen

First reading
Ephesians 2:1-10

Gospel
Luke 12:13-21

A man in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Master, tell my brother to give me a share of our inheritance.’ ‘My friend,’ he replied, ‘who appointed me your judge, or the arbitrator of your claims?’ Then he said to them, ‘Watch, and be on your guard against avarice of any kind, for a man’s life is not made secure by what he owns, even when he has more than he needs.’
Then he told them a parable: ‘There was once a rich man who, having had a good harvest from his land, thought to himself, “What am I to do? I have not enough room to store my crops.” Then he said, “This is what I will do: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and store all my grain and my goods in them, and I will say to my soul: My soul, you have plenty of good things laid by for many years to come; take things easy, eat, drink, have a good time.” But God said to him, “Fool! This very night the demand will be made for your soul; and this hoard of yours, whose will it be then?.” So it is when a man stores up treasure for himself in place of making himself rich in the sight of God.’