This Sunday’s liturgical mood invites us to love God and others to merit the eternal reward of love. Israelites must treat one another with love, especially, the weak and the vulnerable. So, too, for us we must love God and others. Jesus responding to the question from the lawyer, insists on the love of God and others. Pope Benedict Xvi in his encyclical on God’s love (Deus Caritas Est), speaking on Christian love says, “Since God has first loved us, love is now no longer a mere “command”; it is the response to the gift of love with which God draws near to us.” This Sunday, the challenge is how to respond to God’s love and make God closer to us. The first reading offers us an invitation to do that by caring for the weak and vulnerable in our families, churches, and communities. Pope Francis also invites us to respond to God’s love by making it real experience through the example of the Good Samaritan and St. Francis of Assisi who listened to different voices thirsting for love.
So, this Sunday, we celebrate not just the “mere command” of love, but also, we give our Christian response to the gift of love from God. God’s nature, his relationship with people and the way he wants us to live with one another is highlighted in the first reading. The Psalmist invites us to give expression to our love of God and the source of strength; without him we can do nothing. The joyful faith of the Christian community at Thessalonica animated by the Holy Spirit inspires us to pay attention to one another. In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that we cannot separate love of God, of self, and others. He demonstrated that in his own life until death on the cross.
Christian Action This Week: Be grateful to God for his gift of love in your life and be sensitive to love others as God loves them. Deal with the poor, the lonely, and the rejected with a Christian love.
Joy and Peace.