23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
“You must love your neighbour as you love yourself”
The Singapore government recently eased the country into Phase 2 of the Circuit Breaker. One of the freedoms we regained is that people are now allowed to dine in food establishments, subject to a maximum of 5 persons, with no social interaction between the tables. Of course, it has transpired lately that people have been booking multiple tables, and have violated social distancing rules by interacting with each other.
While people have observed the letter of the law, they have failed to observe the spirit of the law, which is to prevent further community spread of COVID-19.
In today’s second reading, St Paul talks about the second greatest commandment: “To love the Lord your God with all your soul, and all your your mind” as a summary of the Commandments to not kill, not steal, not covet, amongst others. He exhorts that “love is the one thing that cannot hurt your neighbour”.
It was in reflecting upon this that it hit me that the commandments he mentions are negatively phrased — to “not” do these bad acts. The thing is, our motivation to observe the commandments may not stem out of love for our Lord, and our neighbour. Instead, they could stem out of our fear of God.
Another message in today’s readings is that of Love. In fact, Love is the consistent message throughout all three readings — we owe a duty to love each other. Instead of ticking off a checklist, the question we need to be asking ourselves consistently is if what we do (or fail to do) benefits those around us.
Let us pray that we be aware of this duty we have to each other. Also, this being our wedding anniversary, I’d like to take the opportunity to tell her I love her, and to thank her for saying “yes” all those years ago!
(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)
Prayer: Father, we pray for the gift of wisdom to guide us to understand what to do as we continue to grow as Your children.
Thanksgiving: Father, thank You for reminding us that how we live our lives should be directed by Love, rather than driven by fear.