October 23, 2011

30th Sunday - A (October 23, 2011)

Matthew 22: 34-40

With or Without Love

The Jewish religious people observed 613 commandments as found in the Torah, "248 positive ('you shall') and 365 negative ('you shall not.') [1]

That is a lot of commandments.

What would it be like to observe them all without a purpose and understanding? One would surely become legalistic.

Jesus does not invent the two greatest commandments (they are both familiar to all devout Jews from the law given by God to Moses). Jesus, however, teaches the reason and purpose of all the commandments.

Moreover, Jesus makes it just ONE commandment. The commandment of love.

With love, it all makes sense. Without love, all we have is the burden of restriction.

[1] Daniel J. Harrington, SJ. The Gospel of Matthew. Sacra Pagina series. Collegeville, MN.: Liturgical Press, 1991; p. 316.

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