Two-Minute Homily by Fr Jason Middleton for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time 2023.
“God is inviting us to share in the fullness of life, of purpose, and fulfilment in the love that God showers upon us.”
- Two-Minute Homily Transcript
Two-Minute Homily TranscriptAuthor: Archdiocese of Brisbane
You and I cannot command love. We might desire love, we might encourage love, we might even expect love, but we cannot command a person to love us. Even more than this, we cannot make someone love us. God on the other hand, has and does command us to love. But even God cannot make us love. Not only would that be in utter contravention of our God-given free will, but the very response of one who has been compelled to ‘love’ is not actually love. Love is a gift, freely given. Love cannot be coerced, it can only be offered in the hope that it will be gratefully received, and genuinely and fully reciprocated. Love is at its most powerful and efficacious when this cyclical pattern of mutual exchange is the very bedrock of any relationship.
Prior to today’s gospel encounter between Jesus and the Pharisees, Jesus had silenced the Sadducees on the question of the resurrection. Now it is the Pharisee’s turn to try and test Jesus. They ask, which is the greatest commandment of the Law? What more perfect question to try and catch Jesus out, than to ask, of the 613 commandments of the Mosaic Law, which is the greatest! It only takes Jesus to quote two, one from Deuteronomy and one from Leviticus, to undo their plot. Even though God may command us to love God’s own self and our neighbour, such a reality is only ever a beautiful invitation from the one who is love. God is inviting us to share in the fullness of life, of purpose, and fulfilment in the love that God showers upon us.
The truth of the matter is we could not love God or anyone else, if God had not first loved us. God the Almighty who is eternal love, lover, and beloved, seeks to constantly and deeply draw us into relationship with God’s own self with eternal strings of divine love. Let’s be real, we would not even exist if it were not for the fact that God is love! But that’s what God does. To create, that’s what love does. So, let us respond whole heartedly to the invitation of God today to fall deeply in love with the Lord because He is deeply in love with you!