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Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle A
October 26, 2014
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First Reading: Exodus 20:20-26
Second Reading:1 Thessalonians 1:5c-10 Gospel Reading: Matthew 22:34-40
- This Sunday’s Gospel reading finds Jesus again in Jerusalem during the week before his death. Between the time of last Sunday’s Gospel and this, he has just finished silencing the members of the religious group, the Sadducees, regarding a question about the Resurrection, a doctrine they did not believe in (Matthew 22:23-33).
- An opposing religious party, the Pharisees, who considered Jesus a breaker of the Jewish Law (see Matthew 12:1-8, 9-14), now pose to him a question that was commonly asked all teachers of the Law: Which commandment—out of the possible 613 recognized precepts of the Law formulated by the rabbis—is the greatest?
- Jesus answers them—not out of the 613 precepts—but out of two of the Mosaic books of the Law (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18), the first part of which is found in the shema, recited daily by faithful Jews (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
- For Jesus, love (charity) is the greatest theological law (Matthew 19:19; Romans 13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 13:13; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8; CCC §§ 1822-1824). The Gospel requires “faith (Deuteronomy 6:5) working though love (Leviticus 19:18)” (Galatians 5:6).
- In the 1st Reading, we hear from a section of the Book of Exodus where God is giving instruction to his people regarding their conduct among themselves. Specific prescriptions aside, what seems to be the overall attitude that God expects us to have toward our neighbor?
- In the 2nd Reading, Saint Paul reminds the Thessalonians how much they have grown in their faith by imitating his example. What are some of the ways their faith has become evident? How much do you strive to imitate Jesus and the Saints?
- In the Gospel Reading, why do you suppose Jesus declares these two commandments the greatest? How would you say the Ten Commandments relate to these two?
- What does Jesus’ response to the scribe teach you about Jesus? About the kingdom of God (see 1 John 2:7-11)?
- Why do you think Jesus emphasized loving God with our heart, soul, and mind? How is loving God related to loving people (1 John 4:20-21)?
- What does it mean to love your neighbor as yourself? How do you love your self? How does that apply to the way you love your neighbor (Matthew 7:12; Ephesians 5:29)?
Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 581, 1822-24, 2055, 2083
It is easy enough to be drawn to good, healthy people who have pleasant manners, but that is only natural love and not charity. A mother does not love her sick and wasted child because he is lovable, but because she is his mother, and we must pray the Holy Spirit to put into our hearts that selfless devotion which nature has put into hers. –St. Robert Bellarmine
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Read God's Book continually; never let the sacred volume be out of your hand. Learn, so that you may teach.
- St. Jerome