「Spiritual Talk」Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Fr. Anthony Ho

by Kenny Cheng

This weekend, the Church celebrates the Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time and today’s Gospel reading comes from Matthew 22:34-40. A scholar of the law questioned Jesus which commandment was the most important and Jesus responded: first, to love God with all your heart, strength, and will; and secondly, to love your neighbour as yourself. At that time, Jewish scholars constantly debated the precedence of the hundreds of commandments, so Jesus had just resolved the age-old debate: love. Jesus had taken the commandment to love God from Deuteronomy 6, which all Jews had memorized and yet which the Pharisees failed to live out. In fact, we can sometimes be like the Pharisees and think that we must completely understand God through our intellect, but God wants us to love whole-heartedly even more. For lower things like eating and drinking, we should choose with our intellect. But for higher things like religion, we should choose with our will. In recent years, numerous mystics have constantly reminded us that without love, the amount of money or time we give is worth nothing. There was once a priest who passed by a tombstone that read: this person died at age 90, but only lived three years. On asking what this meant, he was told that the deceased person began loving God at age 87 and wanted others to know after their death that only their final three years could be considered as truly living.

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