Rev Mr. John A Sistare
Vatican Radio Mass aired to Saudia Arabia
Anticipatory Mass for 30th Sun of Ordinary time
Matt 22:34-40 (Greatest commandment)
It was a hot summer day in 1941, when a prisoner escaped from a concentration camp in Auschiwitz, Poland. The rule in the camp for an escape was that ten men would be executed. So, ten men were chosen from the cell block, whom had already stood all day in the blazing heat. One of the ten cried out, "What will happen to my family?" At that, a man, not part of the ten, stepped forward. The soldier seeing this man, asked, "Who is this polish pig?" The man answered, "I am a Catholic priest from Poland, I would like to take this mans place because he has a wife and children." The soldier granted his request and after two weeks in a starvation block, St. Maximillian Kolbe died on the eve of the feast of the Assumption.
In todays Gospel, Jesus is asked what is the greatest commandment. He responds that it is to love God with your whole heart, mind and soul. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself. This, my friends, is the sum of our entire life. This was the sum of St Maximillians life. In fact, his love for God was so great that he had no fear of death. His love for God was so great that he could lay down his own life for his neighbor. The love he had for God, flowed toward his neighbor.
The question for us today is How much do we love God? How much do we love our neighbors? Whether they are family, friends, children in the womb, or the elderly, how much do we love them? We are called to have great love for our neighbors, because they are all made in the image of God. We are called to strive to love God and our neighbors even more, as St Maximillian Kolbe did. As we strive to do so, let us keep our eyes fixed on the greatest act of love ever manifested The love that God has for us, a love that sent his only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross so that we may have eternal life.
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