He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Welcome as we continue our Ordinary Time journey of study and re-commit ourselves to the work of following, witnessing to, and sharing Jesus.
We have spent weeks focusing on God’s great generosity: unlimited forgiveness; full payment to all workers whether they are old school faithful or new followers; His offer of opportunities to change, turn and repent, and His invitation to all to put on the wedding garment of regeneration. Last week we even considered His generosity in making right choices for us.
We also considered the fact that regardless of our civic leaders, we are called to live as followers of Jesus and members of the
Kingdom. Our witness, justice, love, compassion, and forgiveness must surpass that of the unrighteous.
We see in last week’s gospel something that continues into this week’s teaching and for the weeks that follow as we start considering the last things, Jesus’ return in glory – and that is our response to God’s generosity. In simpler terms, are we ready for Jesus’ return?
Being ready is not a complex process. It does not require jumping through hoops, being extraordinary in what we do, or even being heroic in our actions. It simply means we must follow the gospel life Jesus provided us with, and care in real ways.
Core to that gospel life is our love of God and our neighbors. Jesus tells us that everything depends on this act of love. Indeed, love is an act, not just a warm fuzzy feeling.
To the world and the worldly, to the unsaved, our action of love, our purposeful work of love, our attendance at Sunday worship, our praise and thanksgiving toward God and our mutual charity within His family may indeed seem out-of-the ordinary. Some might even say we are extraordinary or even heroic. To others, we are just those oddball people who give up our Sunday morning and care for people who don’t really matter.
We have chosen to follow Jesus, to obey His teaching, to walk in His way. As such our every action in conformity with His gospel is the response we offer to the Father’s generosity and our readiness to meet Him.