30th Sunday: Year A

Readings:

  • First Reading: Exodus 22:20-26
  • Response: I love you, Lord, my strength.
  • Psalm: 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
  • Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:5C-10
  • Gospel Acclamation: Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.
  • Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40

 

Brant Pitre

  • Jesus’ great answer = So what Jesus has basically done is taken the negative prohibitions that you find on the two tablets of the Decalogue (10 Commandments divided into love God (first 3) and love neighbour (last 7)) and he’s flipped them and summed them up in positive commands (through the Shema (Deut 6:4-6) and a Levitical precept (Lev 19:18). Namely, not only what you should avoid, but what you should actually do… Jesus really is distilling the essence of Jewish Scripture without abandoning anything from it.
  • As charity comprises the two commandments to which the Lord related the whole Law and the prophets… [Matt 22:39] so the Ten Commandments were themselves given on two tablets. Three were written on one tablet, and seven on the other ~ St. Augustine –> The Ten Commandments, in other words, are the foundations of Christian morality because the Ten Commandments, at the end of the day, are about the love of God and the love of neighbor. He is very clear that we do have to keep the Commandments when he sums up the Ten Commandments in the love of God and the love of neighbor. As St. Augustine says, the essence of the new law, the essence of the new covenant, is charity.
  • So this is a really brilliant strategy on the part of the lectionary, to complement the Gospel reading she gives us laws from the book of Exodus that show love of neighbor and then a Psalm that is all about the love of God. That provides us a bridge from the Old to the New Testaments.
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