SERMON GIVEN On 30th November 1997
Luke 10: 25–37
Today's Gospel in short, contains everything which is the way of the Christian. The first commandment is that we should love our God with all our heart with all our mind with all our strength, with all our being, and our neighbour as ourselves. To love means to prefer all that is dear to the beloved person, to what is dear to us. To love God means that we should live, and indeed be, such that He could rejoice in what we are, that there should be nothing alien to Him in our lives.
And here comes the second commandment, which the lawyer did not understand: that we should love our neighbour as ourselves. To love again our neighbour, forgetting ourselves. Very often we think that we are worthy Christians if we feel that we have in our hearts a warmth, that we love God. But this is not enough. The test of this love is to share God's own love for every one of our neighbours. I remember a sad moment in my own life, when my father asked me: what was the dream of my life? I was young then, and I said, 'To be with God alone.' And he looked sadly at me and said, 'You have not begun to be a Christian.' Because if we love God we must share with Him all His concerns for the whole world and for each person in this world.
Let us, therefore, take this short event in the life of Christ and the parable as a rule. We will never be able to know how much we love God. It is difficult, because it is so easy to delude oneself. Even when we say that we love someone, a moment may come when selfishness, indifference, a quarrel, may make an end, at least for a time, to our mutual friendship and closeness. But there is a criterion which is objective. How do you treat your neighbour? What does he mean to you? If he means nothing, if he is a passer-by, if he is only someone in your way, or if he is someone to whom you can pay attention when you are in the right mood, then we have not begun to love God and to love the world together with Him. Let us therefore think of it, ask ourselves pertinent questions, and redress our lives.