The WORD in Other Words by Fr Narciso Cellan SVD (Philippines)
Friday Week 20 Ordinary Time, Ru 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22, Mt 22:34-40
A mother sent this SMS to his son: “Your dear aunt just passed away, LOL!” “Why is that funny?” the son asked his mother. “It‘s not funny, my son. What do you mean?” The son explained: “Mom, LOL means laughing out loud.” “O my goodness,” the mother replied, “I sent that to many of my friends and loved ones, and I thought it meant ‘lots of love‘
Today‘s gospel talks of love, lots of love. First, we need to love God. But it is not enough. We must love Him with all heart, soul, and mind. But even that is still not enough. We also must love our neighbor the way we love ourselves.
However, lots of love could also be too much to take in. Realistically speaking, we wonder if loving God with our whole being would be possible, let alone loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. The fact that they come to us as commandments seems not to make things easier for us. If anything, the act of loving appears to become a mere formality, an imposed ordinance, an unnatural force of our social and spiritual existence.
But nothing could be farther from the truth. Commandments though they are, loving God and loving our neighbor are what make our life worth living, our sacrifices worth offering, our dreams worth pursuing, our hopes worth embracing. We could refer to them as commandments, and the greatest at that. But they are more than that, for they define our life and the core of our faith in God.