The Gospel according to Matthew (22:34-40)
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Reflection: “With all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” In other words, with your whole being!
What does this depth of love look like practically speaking? It’s easy for this to become a lofty thought or sermon of words, but it’s challenging to let this thought or sermon become a testimony of our actions. Do you love God with your whole being? With every part of who you are? What does that mean exactly?
Perhaps this depth of love will manifest itself in many different ways; here are a few examples:
Entrustment: Entrustment of our lives to God is a requirement of love. God is perfect and, therefore, loving Him requires that we see His perfection, understand this perfection, and act in accordance with it. When we see and understand who God is, the effect is that we must trust Him completely and without reserve. God is all-powerful and all-loving. An all-powerful and all-loving God must be trusted without hesitation.
Interior fire: Entrustment of ourselves will set our hearts on fire! This means that we will see the Holy Spirit do amazing things within our souls. We will see God acting and transforming us. It will be more than what we could ever do to ourselves. God will take charge and do great things in us, transforming our lives, just as a blazing fire becomes all consuming.
Actions beyond our ability: The effect of a blazing fire of the Holy Spirit within us is that God will do great things in the lives of those around us – through us. We will witness God at work and be amazed at what He does. We will witness first hand His amazing power and transforming love and it will happen through us. What a gift!
For Rose and I, a great example of this zeal to serve God faithfully in our lives was our former and founding pastor Monsignor Michael Killeen. He humbly preferred to refer to himself as Fr. Killeen and his priestly life, like today’s memorial of St. John Eudes, was that as a priest of constant service to others. He was “all in” when it came to his devotion to the Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
He ministered his whole life to those in his parish and the surrounding community along with anyone from any faith background who would come and visit the parish. When you would talk with Fr. Killeen, you would experience and have the feeling that Jesus was speaking with you, through him, and that he was truly a “spirit filled” priest. His heart was on fire with the Spirit and he had the Interior Fire of the Spirit in everything he did!
Monsignor was taken home to heaven on August 16th and he left behind a legacy of many people who had vocations to the priesthood, religious life, deaconate and lay missionary work. He lived the gospel of today loving God with all his heart, all his soul and all his mind.
The words that echo his life are the same words he would offer frequently to newly ordained … “Just love the people”.
Action of the Day: Reflect, today, upon your total love of God. Are you all in? Are you completely committed to serving our Lord and His holy will? Don’t hesitate.