Friday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
Malvern Minute


Friday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time – August 23, 2019

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Memorial of St. Rose of Lima

Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22

Psalm 146

Matthew 22:34-40

This weeks Gospel readings concentrated on the theme of Jesus having confrontations with the Jewish leaders.  Today the Pharisees ask our Lord an important question and they receive an important answer.  Although the question was important (which commandment in the law is the greatest) it was still designed to test Jesus.  If He wasn’t careful with His response His answer could have left Him open to the charge of trying to “abolish parts of the law.”

In focusing on the two halves of the Ten Commandments, that is duty to God and duty to our neighbor, it offers a foundation for all our living; and by summing up that duty as love.  This is a duty and responsibility that we must all follow.

Fulfilling our duty to God and neighbor is life giving.  God established these rules not to rob us of the joy in creation or to incarcerate us from creativity and free thinking but rather to grant us life both in spirit and body.  In our text today, Jesus shows us the answer that animates the law by positive means – that is, through love. 

So, as usual, Jesus “tells it like it is.”  Love God and love your neighbor.  Love hardly needs an explanation.  I’m not speaking of how much we “love” our favorite TV program, or how much we “love” our favorite sports team.  I’m speaking about the real heartfelt emotion of love.  Our actions towards God and neighbor are to be done out of compassion and an earnest desire to want what is best for them.  We know this comes from within us, prompted by God, the Holy Spirit. 

My friends, this is evangelization.  That is to love God, and to love our neighbor in our thoughts, in our words, and in our deeds.  We accomplish this in spite of our moral failures that we see in ourselves and in others.

Question of the Day:  Does it make you feel good inside to do something for someone else…especially when it is least expected?

Prayer:  Teach me your paths, my God, guide me in your truth.



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