|The brown dog is the older one, and the white one is the younger one.|
I have two dogs, one which is just about 2 years old, and another that is just about 8 years old. As you may expect, there are two very different personality mixes in these dogs. The young one being hyper and annoying, and the older being calm and relaxed. God is like both of these dogs. My younger dog will stop at no ends to get your attention. She will continue to come closer and closer to you, until there is no possible room left for her to cuddle closer. At times this is cute, and at other times it is just annoying. But regardless of how many times I tell her to go away, or I gentle push her away from me, or get mad at her, she always comes back. She always returns the next hour wanting more attention. Just like God. We may tell God to 'go away' or 'leave me alone' but God will always continue to love us.
In todays Gospel, Jesus is asked the same question that many great teachers were asked, " What is the greatest law?" Normally this was a challenge to answer, it was a trick question, because their are 613 laws ( 248 positive and 365 negative.) So people were always looking for one to sum up the law. Nothing from Jesus answer is new, the only original part of Jesus response was putting the two together; Love God and Love your neighbour.
Jesus then goes on to explain, that every law pours forth from these two laws: To love God with all your heart soul and mind and to love your neighbour has yourself. These two laws are the bases of Jesus ministry on earth. His ultimate goal was to die for our salvation. But rooted in this death is love; rather, the entire mystery is love. He came a taught these two things; love of God and love of neighbour. He fulfilled this by dying on the cross. He loved God and was faithful to his fathers will, and he loved his neighbour, (us) by dying for our salvation.
These 'aliens' are the people whom are 'outcasts' 'foreigners ' or 'stranger.' These are all generic terms to describe those who are widowed, orphaned, or not from the land and come from another. These are the people that the people of the city would hurt and disregard; not show love to. But God calls them to love the aliens; to help them and care for them. The first reading finishes with the line, " if that person cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate"
This is God calling us to compassion. He is calling us to be compassionate to others, to give without taxing, to borrow and not take, to care and not abuse. It is in this call of compassion that we truly love they neighbour.
'If you judge people you have no time to love them"
We love God, by loving our neighbour- we are all created in the image and likeness of God, and so by loving others, we love God in return. The Eucharist is our source. It is the source of our strength, and of our love. Through the Eucharist we can learn to love, without judging, and giving without counting the cost. At the same time, every time we receive, adore, and pray before the body of Christ, we are loving God. Every visit we make time to visit Christ in prayer we are expressing the most sincere form of love; giving of our time.
So today, may we come to love God and love others. May it be that, through the eucharist, we may derive our strength to love others and to love God. May we come to be compassionate to the 'aliens' of our society, and to love without judging.
May we come to continuously open our arms to those who have done us wrong. May we come and return to God over and over and realize that he has his arms wide open waiting for us to run towards him.