‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’
Thank you for joining today as we continue our journey focused on listening to, obeying, and witnessing to Jesus.
Our Holy Church drives this listening, obeying, and witnessing home in very particular ways through special Solemnities celebrated throughout the year.
Today listening, obeying, and witnessing is stressed through our call to love. This Solemnity of Brotherly Love was instituted a long time ago, in 1923, when members of our Church were persecuted for their faith.
Yes, our people faced a hatred that resulted in beatings, firings from jobs, homes being foreclosed on, and even murder.
They, the Church, decided they would not respond in-kind, they would not fight back with fists and clubs, but would focus themselves on Jesus’ teaching on love toward all.
Was that the past? It seems many have not listened to Jesus: ‘Go and do likewise.’
Love is harder to find, hate is far easier to see. Sometimes alleged Christians are right up front in fermenting something quite different from Brotherly Love. Let’s use a real-life example. Perhaps you have seen Deuteronomy 28:43-44 quoted in social media: Aliens residing among you shall ascend above you higher and higher, while you shall descend lower and lower. They shall lend to you but you shall not lend to them; they shall be the head and you shall be the tail. Of course, we should fear immigrants.
This scripture was from the listing of curses against Israel if they were unfaithful to God’s law. Everything they would do would fail. They would lose their crops, children, and nation.
All this was set forth in a ceremony to be performed by the entire nation, so that they would understand the gravity of their choice whether to actually walk in the ways of God.
In the blessings and curses God warns in several places related to foreigners (see Exodus 22:21, and 23:9) and most particularly in Leviticus 19:33-34 “‘When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The stranger who lives as a foreigner with you shall be to you as the native-born among you, and you shall love him as yourself.”
Brotherly love is a choice, an eternal choice. We must choose to stop for the stranger, to love all people totally, or face God’s consequences. What must I do? Love!
Additional Scriptural references:
- Exodus 22:21
- Exodus 23:9
- Leviticus 19:33-34
- Leviticus 25:23
- Numbers 15:15
- Deuteronomy 10:19
- Deuteronomy 23:7
- Deuteronomy 24:14
- Deuteronomy 24:17-22
- Deuteronomy 27:19
- Ezekiel 22:7
- Ezekiel 22:29
- Ezekiel 47:22
- Zechariah 7:10
- Matthew 25:31-46