Faith Daily | 20 August 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p572
you have given your only Son
to be for us both a sacrifice for sin
and also an example of godly life:
give us grace that we may always thankfully receive
the benefits of his sacrifice,
and also daily endeavour
to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 22: 34-40
34When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37He said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the greatest and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Virginia Hasker
The Elders of the Jewish Society and the Synagogue find Jesus teaching challenging. In the preceding verses of this chapter Matthew records two other incidents of them trying to trap Jesus into giving answers to scenarios they put to him that will prove that he doesn’t know what he is talking about. In verse 15 the Pharisees ask him to comment on paying taxes. In verse 23 the Sadducees had a go at trying to trap him into talking about the Resurrection, which they didn’t believe in, by giving him a scenario about a widow and the Judaic rules of marriage after a husband dies. Who will she be lawfully married to after the resurrection?
Jesus is on to them all, and far smarter than they give him credit for. He doesn’t fall into their traps.
Now in verse 34 they have another go by getting a lawyer to question him about the greatest commandment. They hoped to make Jesus show neglect for another area of the law.
In Exodus 20 Moses is told by God the 10 ‘rules’ for the behaviour of the People of Israel. These become the 10 Commandments which form the basis of the laws in Judaic Religion and also the basis of our laws in Judaic/Christian societies. Christ here brings the ten down to two.
Jesus summary of the two commandments, are very simple when you read them, but in practice they are not so easy to live out. How easily we can be distracted through advertising, social media, societies expectations to make something else our God that we strive for and ‘worship’? How difficult is it to ‘love your neighbour’? Some neighbours don’t want to be friendly and certainly not loved. Some people behave so badly! Some people seem to be unlovable! What do we do then?
“Jesus answers, ,The essence of it all is that everything is within the One Love, for God is Loving Being itself. lf you let God be God for you, then you find you can’t do anything but live Love’s goodness - in your heart, soul, mind, body. Such love then overflows into relating with others as God relates to you.”
FINAL PRAYER: – Michael Leunig "A Common Prayer"
‘Love one another and you will be happy.’
It’s as simple and difficult as that.
There is no other way. Amen.