31st Sunday in Ordinary Time ( Year B)
Sunday Readings: Deuteronomy 6:2-6, Hebrews 7:23-28 & Mark 12:28-34
C.S. Lewis is a Christian writer. In one of his many books, he has one entitled 'The Four Loves.' He speaks of these four loves as Eros, Philia, Storge, and Agape. Eros is passionate love. Phili is love among equals or friends. Stroge is love parents display for their children. Agape is love for humankind.
Today's gospel text has "LOVE" as its focus. A scribe questioned Jesus as to which commandment is the greatest. Jesus answers, saying, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and strength. And the second is this you shall love your neighbour as yourself."
The scribe got a great answer and appreciated Jesus for the wise response. Jesus looking at the scribe, said: You are not far from the kingdom of God.
We talk much on love. We have novels that tell of love. We have poets writing numerous poems on love. We have art architecture depicting love, and music and the list can go on and on.
But what is distinctive of Christian love? It is Agape, not inward-looking or self-seeking but outward-looking at the service of the other.
The scribe found this aspect of love difficult to digest. God was there right in front of them, and they could not accept this reality.
The litmus test of LOVE is God and nneighbour because we cannot love God if we cannot love our neighbour.
We are struggling as a global community with the pandemic that has caused chaos and confusion. Can I stop to ask if love is lost in chaos and confusion? Am I giving into despair, lacking HOPE in God? Have I forgotten to be CHARITABLE to my neighbour? It is love that holds us together.