The Greatest Commandment

The reading today touches at the heart of our relationship with God, and is at the heart of how we are to live as
Christians in the world. St. Augustine, as well, saw the importance of this particular teaching of Jesus. He would
say to his students that loving God, and loving your neighbor is the “guiding principle by which you can interpret
the whole of scripture…this is it”.
If we follow the law of God by the letter, it really means nothing if we do not have a love for God.
Consequently, if we truly love God, it should be impossible not to love all humanity.
I can’t help but think about Pope Francis, who at times in his pontificate has snuck out in the middle of the
night to minister to the poor and to hear confessions. He does this because his love for God and his love for
humanity are so strong, he simply can’t help himself it seems. Today’s Gospel passage is made real through the
pontiff’s actions.
I am sure you can all think of people that are examples of this, and there has been so many incredible things
that have happened because of Christians expressing their love of God, through to their love of neighbor.
However, there is so much work left to do, as there are many people living on the margins in our society.
I was speaking with someone recently about all the people of God living on the street, in our local neighborhood..
There is a guy at the Dollar Store near our parish, and he is there all the time. If you give him a donation or in the
summer my family gave him bottles of water, he will always say “thank you, and God bless you”. If you stop and
talk to him, you will find a nice and interesting man.
Another example, for me, was some time back I became aware of a student who committed suicide. She was
transgender and was rejected by family and fellow students. No one was there to help and minister to her, so she
ended her life. Sadly, it is just one example of an all too common occurrence in our schools.
A third example came from someone in a senior’s home that I took communion to. She asked me to ask my
fellow parishioners if they would come visit her, as she doesn’t get many visitors. Her family is away, and she
spends most of her time in a small room by herself. If anyone wishes to visit this nice lady, please talk to me, or
send me an e-mail.
This is an exciting time in our parish as we move from maintenance to mission. What better way to do
that than by reaching out to those in need and making this Gospel passage a reality in our lives and in the world.
God bless you all, Deacon Dan MacDonald

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