30th Sunday,October 2017 Cycle A

My sisters and brothers in Christ,

All that God wants of us is to love Him and to love one another. Why can we not fulfill these commands? Why do we find ourselves so incapable of such a simple commandment? When we are honest with ourselves, we admit that there is something broken in our humanity. Our Catholic Tradition calls this “original sin” and because of our sinfulness, the Father sends His Son to save us in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The first reading today is from the Book of Exodus. This particular passage speaks to us of the mercy and compassion that God has for the orphans, the widows and the poor. God tells us that we must be like Him and also have mercy and compassion in a special way for the orphans, the widows and the poor. This is a requisite of those who belong to the “covenant.”

Today many of us Christians forget that we belong to the “new covenant” with Jesus Christ. We inherit the promises of the Old Covenant and have the gifts of the New Covenant. It is our baptism into Christ that makes us members of this Covenant. It is important for us Christians to remember that in this New Covenant we have the promise and commitment of God Himself for our salvation and for our well-being.

The second reading is from the First Letter to the Thessalonians. In this passage of this Letter, Saint Paul reminds us that we must always give example of how to live our Christian faith. When we live with joy and gladness the New Covenant, others are drawn to come to know the Lord. Most of us know at least one or two people that we would consider models for living a Christian life. We ourselves need to become models of how to live. We do that we striving to live as Christ lived, striving to be faithful to our Covenant with Him and by each day renouncing all that is against the Lord.

Today’s Gospel from Saint Matthew is very short but also very clear. What is the greatest commandment? To love God and to love one another. This message of the Lord Jesus is very clear: to live is to strive to love! If we want to be faithful to the God who created us, then we must love all others. We know that in the tradition, it is easy to love those who love us. Jesus calls us to love everyone and that proof of that love is the special love that we must have for our enemies and those who try to destroy us.

We are invited today to live more profoundly the love given to us in Christ Jesus. We are invited to show that love for all people and especially for those who are our enemies in any way. The promise for us, the Covenant, is that we shall possess everlasting life and be with the Lord forever.

Your brother in the Lord,

Abbot Philip

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