Mon 14th Aug 2017

19th Week in Ordinary Time (A)
Deut. 10:12-22
Ps. 148(147):12-13,14-15,19-20
Mt. 17:22-27   (Ps Wk III)

The scripture passage in the first reading describes how Moses calls the people of Israel to a total commitment to God. The key message in Moses’ speech is that at the centre of Israel's response to God, is God’s love for His people. This God, the Creator of the universe, selected Israel to be His specially chosen people from among all the nations. Israel had been set apart for God’s special love. Israel’s response in the form of ritualistic observances, including that of circumcision, is to celebrate this divine choice.

Moses also points out that these observances have to go beyond mere formal rituals. They must help transform the spirit of the people, that is, to a new approach in their relationship with God. One of the ways they can show how seriously they take their election as the People of God is to become responsible for those in their community who are economically and socially dependent on others for their survival. These include the poor, the sick, the widows and orphans, the elderly and others. God chose a weak and powerless people to be the object of His unique love. As a response, Israel must love the same kind of people God loves.

The message of Moses is an important reminder for us as Christians. That is, God revealed His unique love to us through His Son, Jesus. It means that we too must go beyond our ritualistic observances and respond to God’s love by loving others, most especially the weak, poor and powerless.

Lord, help me to love as You do.