THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
We have a duty to care for strangers. Governments have a moral responsibility, especially if they are refugees due to persecution or other troubles. Some countries take this responsibility seriously but others do not. As citizens, let us make a stand and protect those who have no voice to defend themselves.
20 Thus says the Lord: “You shall not molest or oppress an alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt. 21 You shall not wrong any widow or orphan. 22 If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry. 23 My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword; then your own wives will be widows, and your children orphans. 24 “If you lend money to one of your poor neighbors among my people, you shall not act like an extortioner toward him by demanding interest from him. 25 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, you shall return it to him before sunset; 26 for this cloak of his is the only covering he has for his body. What else has he to sleep in? If he cries out to me, I will hear him; for I am compassionate.”
Psalm 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
R: I love you, Lord, my strength.
2 I love you, O Lord, my strength, 3 O Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer. (R) My God, my rock of refuge, my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold! 4 Praised be the Lord, I exclaim, and I am safe from my enemies. (R) 47 The Lord lives and blessed be my rock! Extolled be God my savior. 51 You who gave great victories to your king and showed kindness to your anointed. (R)
Paul commends the Thessalonians for their witness in the way of Gospel living. However, we will see later on that all is not well in the Thessalonian community. Their lifestyle is not perfect. It is the same with all communities today. Let us be open to fraternal correction so the witness we give will continue to grow in authenticity and strength.
1 Thessalonians 1:5-10
5 Brothers and sisters: You know what sort of people we were among you for your sake. 6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, receiving the word in great affliction, with joy from the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became a model for all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but in every place your faith in God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything. 9 For they themselves openly declare about us what sort of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God 10 and to await his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath.
Jesus summarizes the Gospel with two all-encompassing laws of love— love of God and love of neighbor. It is not enough to do what we feel is the loving thing. The love that Jesus speaks about comes from the heart and is always guided by moral truth. Hence, implementing the laws of love is a challenging one.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.
34 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, a scholar of the law, tested him by asking, 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and the first commandment. 39 The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”