Day 25, Reflection for Mission Month
Sunday, 25 October 2020
The Feast of : St. John Stone, Martyr
Reading : Exo. 22:21-27
Gospel : Matt. 22:34-40
“The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39)
Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity In Diversity) is the slogan of Indonesian nation written on the national emblem. This slogan is used to describe the unity and integrity of the nation and the United State of the Republic of Indonesia. Bhinneka means various or diverse, Tunggal means sole and Ika means that. Literally it means to be that one in diversity, in spite of being diverse, we are one. It can also be interpreted that we who live in Indonesia with various religions, races, ethnic groups, languages, customs and cultures, must have the attitude of respecting each other, loving each other without distinction.
In today’s Gospel we see how the Pharisees tested Jesus with the question: “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” and Jesus answered: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. The second is to love your neighbors as yourself.”
The whole law and the prophets depend on this two commandments. The commandment of love taught by Jesus is the basic commandment, which all laws are depended on.
The commandment of loving God and others is indeed the greatest and the first commandment, but to live it up is certainly not easy. It looks so difficult to love the Lord. It’s easier for us to love a lover, a friend, even our hobbies or pets rather than to love the Lord. It seems that Lord is too abstract and far from our concrete life. However, loving God is not mainly about feelings, but primarily a matter of will. We want to put God above everything. We must be able to put God and His interest on the top of our lives.
God gives us a way to love Him through our love for others. If we feel that God is somewhat abstract, invisible and untouchable, then our neighbors are concrete, visible and touched personal who can more easily move our love. Our love for others is a real manifestation or expression of our love for God. God has identified Himself in our neighbors. “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matt. 25:40). In this case, we are called to love our neighbors equally.
Loving God and others wholeheartedly cannot just be expressed in words, but it must be reflected in concrete action. Carrying out the commandment and staying away from God’s prohibitions in daily life will not only keep our faith more alive, but will also make us easier to accept other people, to forgive those who have hurt us, to offer help to anyone who is in need regardless of their religion, race and community. When we love God, at the same time we also have to love others. It is not right to admit loving God, but hating the neighbors or feeling that we love others but never do God’s commands.
It is also stated in the Document on Human Fraternity: Faith leads a believer to see in the other a brother or sister to be supported and loved (art. 1)
Our mission today: to love all people without distinction on their religion, culture, race, etc. (YH)
(Sr. Yohana Halimah – Pontifical Mission Society Indonesia)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Participation from the laymen: With the virtue of Sacrament of Baptism, may all laymen, especially the female, be enabled to participate more in different areas of ecclesiastical responsibility. We pray …
For Indonesian Churches intention:
Kind speaking: May the Catholics prioritize in using kind language as an effort to create friendship and brotherhood in the midst of communication turmoil of the social media which tends to be scathing, threatening and destructive today. We pray …
We present our young people to continuously learn to defend justice for everyone. We pray …