• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 27 October 2017 12:44

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time - 2017

Written by Fr Larry Nemer SVD

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time -2017

Fr Larry Nemer SVD 150The scholars of the Jewish Law at the time of Jesus continued to argue among themselves as to which is the greatest of the 613 commandments of God that they identified in the Jewish writings. There was no common agreement. It reminds one of Catholic moral theologians arguing about which is the most important commandment of God to follow – to avoid committing a mortal sin or to love everyone as your brother or sister. So it is not surprising that Jesus was asked: what in your mind is the most important commandment of God?

Jesus went to the Jewish scriptures to find the commandment that He thought was the greatest/most important: You must love your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. And he added: the second resembles it: you must love your neighbour as yourself.

I have always struggled with the commandment to love God with my whole being. I know both in my feelings and my actions what it means to love my parents. The same is true of my friends. But the personal, human experience of God – someone that is seen, touched, felt, cried with, laughed with – is only present to me in my imagination, and so I am never sure my love for God is “real”. I would like to think I love God with my whole being, bur do I really?

I think I got an insight into what this might mean when I was concelebrating the wedding of a cousin with a Baptist minister. At the rehearsal the minister told the wedding party made up of friends of the bride and groom that starting tomorrow, each of you has to take one step back in your friendship with the bride and groom. Each of them becomes the priority of the other. That made sense to me, even when talking about my love for God. It would be expressed in actions, not in feelings.

A few years ago one of our priests with whom I was in the Seminary died at a rather young age of cancer. He had joined the seminary as an adult and never was able to master Latin. But he wanted to go to China after ordination. So he looked after the Chinese Cardinal who was living with us in the Seminary and he learned to speak Mandarin fluently. He was not able to be appointed to China since the Communists had taken over, so he was assigned to the Chinese parish in Manila. While he was in the States doing some graduate studies he developed an aggressive form of cancer. One of our priests visited him a week before he died. He told the priest: I had wanted to give so much more to God, but I guess this is all that God is asking of me – and that is OK with me. That, I feel, was loving God with his whole being.

I received a lesson about the second commandment when I attended the Parliament of World Religions held in Melbourne in 2009. I attended a session given by four rabbis on the future of the Jewish religion. I was very impressed with what they had to say. I thought Jesus would have agreed with them – and He would have been so proud to be Jewish. In the question period one young man got up and said that he was born Jewish but was not brought up in the Jewish faith. However, he was now studying and trying to live by the Jewish faith. He said: many of my friends ask me: what does it mean to be Jewish? I now have four rabbis in front of me. Can you give me in one sentence what does it mean to be Jewish? One rabbi quickly got up and went to the microphone and said: that is easy – love your neighbour as yourself – that is what it means to be Jewish.

These experiences have helped me to realise that to love God with my whole being and to love my neighbour as myself is not only the first and greatest commandment of Jesus but it is also something I can do. Jesus makes it so clear and “simple”.