daily biblical sermons

Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Monday, 27th Week of the Year, October 08, 2012
Gal. 1:6-12, Ps. 110, Luke 10:25-37

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27).

This is the great commandment, the first and most important commandment of the law, according to Jesus-to love God with your whole being. To this he adds the second greatest commandment-to love your neighbor for the love of God. This first commandment is to guide all of our life. It is for all, for all who want to follow Jesus. Some will fulfill it more radically than others, but all are obliged to try to form their life according to this pattern of love for God and neighbor, as much as they can according to the responsibilities of their state in life.

There are some, like the rich young man, who are invited to follow this commandment in a more radical and complete way by choosing the way of perfection, leaving everything else to be able to love God without division of heart (Matt. 19:21). St. Paul says that those who renounce marriage to live only for God with an undivided heart do better than the rest (1 Cor. 7:32-34, 38), for this is a state in life that does not entangle them with the world or divide their heart in relation to God. These are the first in keeping the first and greatest commandment of Jesus.

This is the consecrated life in which one has an exclusive nuptial relationship with God that excludes a marriage relationship with a human being. In our day when there is such a drastic crisis of vocations to the consecrated and celibate life, to the priestly and religious life, we need to preach frequently on this topic if we want to awaken the hearts of those young people to whom God has given this vocation. Our day is a time when much needs to be said and published about the consecrated life. This state of consecration to God enables one to literally love God with all one's heart, with all one's soul, with all one's mind, and with all one's strength, as well as with all one's time and interest, in the most radical and complete way, without division of heart, and receive the hundredfold reward for having left his family and property and for having renounced even marriage for the love of God (Matt. 19:29). This is the highest vocation, the highest state in life.

But every Christian should follow at least the spirit of this commandment, as much as he can in his state in life with his responsibilities in the world. All should live a simple life, detached from the pleasures of the world, in order to focus on God.

At the same time all should follow the example of the Good Samaritan and love their neighbor for the love of God. One can do this in one's normal daily work or job, doing it well and lovingly for God, as a way of dedicating oneself to God. We express our love for God in a concrete way by serving our neighbor with love. A nurse expresses her love for God by serving the sick with love and devotion. A priest expresses his love for God and pours out his life in loving service of his neighbor by writing sermons to illuminate, inspire, help, and orient him well in his life.

In this way these two greatest commandments of Jesus guide our whole life.

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