Sunday, October 26, 2014

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker 

“The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Is this hyperbole? How could a Jew (Jesus) make such a statement?

For a Jew, the law and the prophets sum up love for God and the hearing of God’s voice in one’s daily life. In Christian terms it might be expressed as: “The whole gospel depends on these two commandments.” Could we say that? We must!

The word of God in today’s scripture readings works together beautifully as usual. The first reading lays out before us what love of neighbor looks like.

“You shall not molest or oppress an alien, for you were once aliens yourselves. You shall not wrong any widow or orphan. If you lend money to one of your poor neighbors ... you shall not act like an extortioner toward him by demanding interest from him. If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, you shall return it to him before sunset; for this cloak of his is the only covering he has for his body.”

Love.

Act humanly.

Care for one another.

Do unto others what you would want done unto you.

Do no one harm.

Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

And love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Why? How does God love us?

No conditions.

No limits.

Loved us first.

Loves us always.

Loves for eternity.

Loves us when we don’t love him.

Loves the good and the bad, the bad and the good – equally.

Gives his sun and his Son, and the rain and his reign to all, no questions asked.

Just reflecting a tiny bit ought to lead us to this very simply yet very profound truth.

“The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

“The whole gospel depends on these two commandments.”

Are we willing to hear this? Are we willing to open our hearts to this? Are we willing to live this?

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, or email pleiker@stbernard-church.com.

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