title : October 6th, 2019 Sunday Mass Sermon of 17th Sunday after Pentecost, by Fr Chazal
name : silviadate : 2019-10-10 11:13:38hits : 217
 The Greatest Commandment
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
October 6th, 2019

The Pharisees are trying to catch Our Lord in His speech by two questions. “What is the greatest Commandment?” and, then “Are you God?” Then, the plan was to ridicule Christ by saying, “You see, He says that the greatest Commandment is to love Him.” Good plan....

...But it backfired terribly for two reasons. First, Our Lord asks them to answer the riddle about the Messiah, who is foretold to have divine attributes. They who believe in a Messiah to come, must believe He is God.

Secondly, God is not asking us to love Him out of the blue, but for an eminent reason, above even the fact that He has created us. God orders us to love Him to repay His love for us, just as parents are entitled to the love of their children.

Hence the first thing the Messiah will do will not to ask us to love Him but to love us first. “He has loved us first.”... Especially by His passion. Then only afterwards Our Lord can say: “This is the heart that has so love the world, but who only receive outrages, ignorance and contempt in return, especially in the sacrament of His love.”(Famous words to St. Margaret Mary)

And the love of God for us is quite special because of our ingratitude, and even our hostility, when sinners relapse into sin only to find that God is willing again to forgive them... God says He quits forgiving when forgiving makes matters worse.
What immense restraint isn’t God showing with the world of today? The sins of today are so immense, yet our forefathers suffered a lot more than us.

Those whom God loves He punishes, like Job and Tobias, who were explicitly told they were so tried because they were just. Famous story.
This is so because God wants to be loved for the right reasons, and not for the joys, riches and honors He bestows often.

Hence we have one commandment only, and the other commandment is similar to it: To love our neighbor as ourselves for His love.
Note that we should still love ourselves in that commandment...So we cannot love our neighbor to the detriment of our soul, but only to the detriment of our body, to the detriment of our comfort and our ease. Some saints sold themselves into slavery to the Muslims, to deliver the souls of weaker brethren.

Yet the love of neighbor is first and foremost for the love of God. Our Lord makes it absolutely clear in the two sentences of the last judgment: “I was hungry,... I was thirsty... I was naked...”
Let us also admire how much He backs up this reality with both eternal reward for compliance to recognize who our neighbor actually is, and eternal fire should we fail to love our neighbor because of Him.

We cannot say this neighbor is useless, because, with the exception of Our Lady, we were all useless when Our Lord spilled His blood for us.
Fr Junipero Serra imitated this the best with his useless Californian Indians: “They only come for prayers and catechism because of the porridge...” And indeed his Indians turned out to be quite useless, unlike the Indians Fr De Smet evangelized further north.

But to love your neighbor for the love of God is the recipe for miracle: Cannibals were turned into good people; the hearts of the black men were turned into good hearts said archbishop Lefebvre.

It is the same miracle we are expecting again, as was shown in one of the dreams of St John Bosco: He saw many wolves turned into sheep, and this is exactly what happened to the youth of Italy in his time.

And lastly this is what we expect from Our Lady, who loves sinners so dearly because She loves them in Her Divine Son, who became a sinner (as to punishment) for them, and made all their infirmities as His own.

+ Fr Chazal

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