The Great Commandment – Fr. Mark

great commandment

The Great Commandment

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

Fr. Mark Gatto

Preached: Sunday Oct 19, 2017

What do we do if we are struggling with our faith? If we are struggling with doubts? What if someone you know is having difficulty with faith? Our first reaction might be that a person struggling with faith needs to study the faith more deeply. Perhaps read a good book that explains the faith in a clear fashion. Perhaps take a course or find a good on-line resource that helps to explain the faith. Perhaps we need to go and spend some time in quiet prayer, to spend time with God in prayer. Reading, studying, praying, all good things to do when struggling with faith.

But, the most helpful and effective thing to do when struggling with faith and doubts, is simply go and love someone. Go to a sick friend or family member and visit them. Go to someone you know is in need and offer them your assistance, even if it is simply spending time to listen to them. Just do your daily things but with real love.

Where you love, there you will find God. For God cannot be understood in logic alone. Faith and love are linked. They go together. So, when struggling with faith, go and love someone, in a very simple and practical way.

Jesus, when asked about the greatest commandment of the law did not choose one of the many different rules or laws that existed. Love God with your whole heart and mind and soul. Your neighbour as yourself. Obeying rules and laws only matter if we are rooted in love. Love and faith are connected. How do we know that our faith is true? Does it lead us to love? Does it lead us to love the people in our life?

Love and faith are connected. Funerals. Meet with family. What stands out to you? They will start sharing things about the loved one. Stories. Two things stand out usually. Ways that this person showed their love to people in their lives, usually family. Ways that they expressed their faith. Love of God and love of neighbour, love and faith are connected.

Love of God and love of neighbour comes together in Jesus. So, the Church, a Catholic parish, should be a school of love. We are to be a community that helps people to fall in love with God and helps people to learn to love the people in their life. This Eucharist is a school of love. Jesus, this is my body given up for you. Self-giving love is modelled each time we gather for this Eucharist.

So, if struggling with faith, go out and simply, practically, concretely love someone. Find some way to express love to someone in your life. For faith and love are connected.

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