Fr. Bloomfield's Blog

I am a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, currently assigned to Divine Child Parish in Dearborn, Michigan. When I manage to keep the page updated, hopefully something interesting can be found here!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Homily Thoughts for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Our pastor Fr. George Williams is preaching at all the Masses this weekend, so I haven't had to prepare a homily. Nevertheless, the Gospel presents a particularly concise presentation of the entire Christian life which merits some brief reflection.
You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.
Our Lord commands us to love God with our whole heart, soul, and mind. Such love of God is comprehensive, whole and entire. We begin with our heart: do our affections tend to God? Do we cultivate our hearts to be pure for God? Or are our hearts divided? Do we love ourselves first, our comfort, our pleasures? Where does our treasure lie? Are our affections disordered? A challenge, to be sure, but even then, only the first aspect of loving God.

Next, we must love God with all our soul. The word is "psyche", a word that has a great deal of usage in the Old and New Testaments. It's derived from the verb "to breathe," which gives us insight into what our Lord might mean. Essentially, He is telling us to love God with the entirety of our spiritual selves. Is the deepest core of our person on fire with the love of God? Can we honestly say that our whole soul -- intellect, memory, emotions, will -- loves God? Again, a challenge from our Lord, and one that helps us take stock of our relationship with Him.

Finally, our mind. Do we take time to cultivate our mind with the teachings of Christ, especially as presented by the Church? Do we assume that we learned everything that we need to know about our Faith and about the Church as children? Are we prepared to properly form our minds by reading good Catholic periodicals (This Rock, Envoy Magazine, Catholic World Report, and the National Catholic Register, to suggest a few), good Catholic books (fiction and nonfiction alike), the Catechism, and other good sources of information? Do we reject those writings that teach contrary doctrine? Do we assume our opinions have more weight, and are more valuable than Church teaching? Or are we lazy -- not interested in forming our minds to love God more? A third challenge, and an excellent point for an examination of conscience, especially in today's society.

And this, after all, is just the beginning. Then we are asked to love our neighbor as ourself. Christ sets the bar high; he challenges us to live a life completely at the service of the Gospel.

Are we prepared to take that challenge?