Deacon’s Desk for 10/29/23

Dear Friends:

Today we hear from the book of Exodus 22:20-26 and the Gospel of Matthew 22:34-40. Exodus is part of the Jewish teaching called the Torah. The Torah is the first five books of the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. When Jesus quotes his answer to the Pharisees in Matthew today, he quotes from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. This is extremely important because Jesus is trying to get across to them that the law he teaches is nothing new. It is what the Father wanted from the beginning; that is to love and care for each other and to love God with everything we have. Somewhere along the way, the Jewish leadership lost the message given to them in their own ruling literature. Somehow someway they became lost and forgot that the law was written for humankind. It was not written to become a burden to people or exclude anyone from the love of God.

I think sometimes we lose our way also. Sometimes we lose the way to love as God loves. Our world and culture teach us to look out for ourselves first and worry about everyone else later. Unfortunately, what we find when we live this way is a great deal of pain, suffering, and sadness. God never intended the Jews or us to live the way we do.

Perhaps this week we could take a moment or two to read once again the Gospel of Matthew 22:34-40. It’s only six verses but those verses, which go back to the beginning, teach us how to live. After all these years we have still not lost what it means to truly love!  We just have to look a little harder.

Peace and All Good!

Deacon Jim