Sunday, October 29, 2017

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

Quote of the Week: “Love and do what you will.” — St. Augustine.

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

Is this hyperbole, exaggeration, to make a point?

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 summed up: “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 humanely.

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.

Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

Why? How does God love us? No conditions, no limits. God loves us first, loves us always — loves for eternity.

God loves us when we don’t love him. God loves the good and the bad, and the bad and the good, equally. He gives us his sun, and his Son, his rain, and his reign, to all, no questions asked.

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

“The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments” and “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, Ext. 112; email perry.leiker@gmail.com. Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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