Love God by loving our neighbors…
Reflections on the readings for the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 29, 2021): DT 4:1-,6-8; PS 15:2-3,3-4,4-5; JAS 1:17-18,21-22,27; MK 7:1-8,14-15,21-23
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
As followers of Jesus, we, too, are asked to embrace all that our Redeemer wants from us each day. In accepting the profound and divine gift of faith we must realize that God desires us to grow ever closer to Him.
In the liturgical reading for this Sunday, we are called to value our life as Christians and what it means to offer obedience to God by expressing our faith through loving service. We are not really committed to God, no matter what we say, if we do not act in accordance with His merciful plan for us and for our brothers and sisters. Everything we are and everything we have comes from the Father. So whatever He asks us to do, we are called to respond in spirit and with deed. In today’s first reading, we hear Moses instruct the Jewish people to follow all the commandments of God: “Observe them carefully, for thus will you give evidence of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations” (Deuteronomy 4:6). As followers of Jesus, we, too, are asked to embrace all that our Redeemer wants from us each day. In accepting the profound and divine gift of faith we must realize that God desires us to grow ever closer to Him. That means listening to the Word of God and praying with an open heart. It means answering the Lord’s love with our own.
The reading from the letter of James offers clear and direct pastoral admonition for daily living. “Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls. Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves…. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:21-22, 27). Through our Baptism into Christian faith we profess belief in our Savior. Yet only when we avoid sin and care for those who are suffering, whether in body or soul, do we confirm that we are Jesus’ loyal disciples. There are not only orphans and widows in need, but also people who are lack medical care, proper housing, decent jobs and wages, good education, and so much more. Let us love God by loving our neighbors today.