30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A by Fr. Ata Mensah 

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30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A by Fr. Ata Mensah

First Reading: Exodus 22:21-27
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 18
Second Reading: 1 Thess 1:5c-10
Gospel Reading: Matthew 22:34-40


Theme: The Love Factor


Is there a word stronger than love? What is more powerful than love and what is beyond love? The question of what is love has been asked for centuries. People have written volumes of books on trying to explain love. Many musicians and composers have written and sung about love. Today there is so much confusion about love because it is defined so differently by so many “authorities”. Is the the word love really suffering from word exhaustion. The readings of today offer us the answer to the above-begging questions.

Explanation of the Text

The introduction to our gospel is not only intriguing but also catchy. We are told that the Pharisees after hearing that Jesus had silenced one of their many rival religious sects in Judaism the Sadducees, the came together and one of them being a lawyer asked Jesus what is the greatest commandment? At the time of Jesus the Pharisees as enthusiastic Jews had embellished the 10 commandments handed down unto them to be 613 precepts.

The answer that Jesus gives to his question is quite interesting. This is because he quoted directly from the commonest prayer that every Jew recited daily (Dt 6:4). The issue here is simple; if one loves God, the person will not break any of God’s commandment. But again, Jesus hastened to add another command which is like the first, the love of neighbour. And it is this second commandment which our first reading tries to espouse. The first reading gives us particular groups of people who are specially entitled to our love: the strangers, widows and the orphans. God promises to come to the defence of the defenceless if we capitalize on their predicament to exploit them.

Indeed the summation of Christianity has been made explicit in the love of God and neighbour. Christian Life consists in just one thing: in loving our neighbour. Our way to heaven passes through our brothers and sisters; we cannot reach there making a detour, bypassing them.

Each one of us here has the capacity to love. This is because there’s a space in every beating heart; a laughter that wipes away all tears and indeed a presence that changes atmosphere. You can be the reason for someone’s smile if you continue to show love.

Paul in our second reading is praising the Christians in Thessalonika because of their earnest love. There’s so much hatred, anger, envy, jealousy and pain in our world today. The only language that can heal our brokenness is love. What the world is yearning for is not intelligent academicians, smart enterpreneurs or astute politicians but simple men and women of love.

Sometimes we open our hearts to others not because we fear no heartbreak but because we’ve learned that when our heart is open, everything we do becomes love. Let us remember that if we want to find gold, we go looking it in the mountain; if we want to find silver, we go digging it in stones; if we want to find heaven, we go reading it in the Bible but if we want to find love then we must give love.



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