God's law is about love

31 October, 2021 31st Sunday, Year B

As part of a structured community or society, we need regulations, ‘norms’ or laws to provide the conditions for a productive, well-ordered and peaceful community. To achieve its mission and to continue to support people in their lives and with their faith, the Church also needs structures.

Church laws have been created by people of faith and good will over many centuries, based on the scriptures of the Old and New Testament and guided by the Holy Spirit. But, while there were times when Jesus found the application of the laws of his time not entirely to his liking, he never talked about simplifying or abolishing the laws.

He once said; “do not think that I have come to abolish the laws or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them” (Matt 5:17).

Yet, by answering the scribe’s question in today’s gospel, “which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus gives us a clear picture that God’s law is about LOVE. He sums up all the laws in this one word: LOVE. Jesus takes us to the heart of the matter because he realises that the observance of the laws has gone awry.

Jesus said to the scribe: “you load people with burdens which they cannot bear, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them” (Luke 11:46). Jesus highlights this so we understand that LOVE is at the heart of God’s Commandments. It is love that is to permeate our actions and it is love that gives profound meaning to our lives.

It is love that moved God, like the Good Shepherd to go out and search for each one of us. He sent his Son to be one like us, even to the extent of giving his own life, dying on the cross and rising from the dead to give us a new life. Love led Jesus to obey his Father’s Will and fulfill the plan of salvation.

Jesus has refocused us all on love and placed it as the heart of all God’s commandments. Jesus thus invites us to have his love in our hearts and in our discipleship journey. This same love will enable us to live our faith with greater commitment and sensitivity in all our changing situations.

Let us remember that God’s love continues to burn in our hearts as his Holy Spirit inspires and accompanies us on our faith journey. We are called to share this love with those around us, particularly the wounded, the troubled and the needy. May God bless you.

Redempt Jawa CSsR

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