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Back The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday, October 25, 2020
From the Desk of Fr. Ron……
One of the systematic theology professors at Christ the King Seminary had a favorite saying in regard to many theological principles. It isn’t “an either or” but a “both and.”
When I was a young adult, I discerned a calling to a semi-monastic way of life with the Discalced Carmelites. At that time in my life, I felt attracted to a place where I would have time to totally give myself to God alone. A number of others joined the same year I did and together we began our formation process. We quickly found out that such a vocation was not a lifestyle where one tries to escape from the world, its cares and its troubles. Nor, was it for those who were unsuccessful in life and had no other alternative. Rather, it was for those whom God called to bring the whole world into one’s prayer and intimacy with God. A place where one feels the pain of so many and intercedes for them before the throne. That is why St. Therese of the Child Jesus was named the patron Saint of World Missionary efforts. As my professor would say, it isn’t an “either or” in that profession but “a both and!”
St. Matthew continues to share with us recollections of how Jesus was continually tested and bated by the elders, Pharisees, scribes and others in conversations. In this weekend’s selection He is asked which one of the plentiful laws of the Jewish faith is most important. Jesus answers correctly in quoting the passage from Deuteronomy 6:5. "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” But, Jesus doesn’t stop there but compounds it, with the law from Leviticus 19:18; “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus proclaims that this is not an “either or” but a “both and” proposition.
St. John, in the letters written to all the Christian communities often referred to as “the catholic letters,” reinforces Jesus’ teaching saying: “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20).
As in our personal walk with the Lord, so too does this apply to our life as a congregation. We engage in worship through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, not to only lift our own hearts up to the Lord but carry all the cares and concerns of people around the world to God’s throne, as well. If we want the Lord completely to ourselves, we have “missed the boat” and are not living the Gospel of the Kingdom. We have to always remember: “It isn’t an ‘either or’ but ‘a both and!”