This Week's Newsletter

We prayerfully remember all those who are

Recently Deceased & all whose Anniversaries occur at this time.

“May they rest in peace. Amen.”

 

The Deep End – Love

The Pharisees continue their harassment of Jesus in today’s Gospel by asking him which commandment is the greatest. What follows is the most famous verses of the New Testament:  ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul … And … You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ We probably can’t hear this enough. Love is the greatest commandment and this is a radical statement. Because this love is agape love, i.e. a love of those we don’t even know or even like! It is a love that binds all of humanity.

     We cannot separate love of God and neighbour; they are like two sides of a coin; they only work together. If we do not treat others with compassion, then how can we say we love God? Jesus often spoke about approaching the altar whilst holding a grudge against someone (Mt 5:24) and continuously challenged those who were hypocrites. Those critical of social justice movements in the church often say we should not be involved in doing ‘social work’. But this is exactly what we must do because this is how we love God, by loving our neighbour who is suffering, who is oppressed, who is in pain. We can love God and love people, there does not have to be a dichotomy.

     There is a beautiful practice in India of using the mystical phrase ‘Namaste’ in greetings, which means: ‘the Divine in me greets the Divine in you’. Usually this is accompanied by a deep bow towards the person. How wonderful it would be to really see God present in each other and, more importantly, in those that society would rather cast aside. In this way we are being true to the greatest commandment.

‘May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.’                                           St Therese of Lisieux

Jane Mellett mellettj@gmail.com

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