Homily – October 25, 2020

In our opening prayer we make this simple request; ‘make us love what you command so that we may merit what you promise.’

Our gospel brings us back to the basics – the great commandment – love God above and before everything – and love the man, woman or child standing before you as you love and cherish yourself… another way of putting it – do unto others as you would have done to you.

It all seems so simple – why do we mess it up so often.

Jesus quotes to the Pharisees the Shema (“Hear!”). It is so named after the first word of Deuteronomy 6:4-9, which begins, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. Therefore, you shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

This the daily prayer of an observant Jewish person as they touch the muzuzah on their doorpost.

I remember in our social studies in the seminary. Our prof was Fr. Fergus MacDonald from Nova Scotia. The first day of class he comes in and writes on the blackboard in capital letters OS.

He tells us that everything we’ll be studying this coming year; social justice and social injustice all are the result of OS. That moment unknown in time or place when the human species fell for the fake promise that if we didn’t listen to God we would become like God..The Book of Genesis tells us it was downhill from then on.

Subjects such as social justice, exploitation of indigenous people and the earth’s limited resources, slavery, racism, white privilege, sweat shops, child labor; inadequate housing and health care, the list is endless but all the result of original sin.

When Cain asked God; am I my brother’s keeper? The answer was and is still the same; yes. Recently Pope Francis said;

To not recognize the human person as an image of God is a sacrilege, an abomination, the worst offense that can be directed toward the temple and the altar,”

As Jesus said; ‘whatever you do to one of these the least of my brothers and sisters you do to me.’ You shared your food, you shared your water, you shared your clothing, you shared your clothing, you shared your home, your homeland; you shared.

Whenever you did these things to one of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me. Come enter the kingdom prepared for you.

The reality is we are to love others, not like others. We know there are some people who just turn us off; they’re brass, in your face, know it all, just not nice people. Its all about personalities. We just don’t like them but Christ challenges us to look beyond their foibles and see them as they are; sons and daughters of God, as we all are. Mistake making beings as we all are. We are to wish them well,

We go back to our opening prayer. Make us love what you command so that we may merit what you promise. Love one another as you’ve been loved… enter the joy of my kingdom.