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October 22, 2011

XXX Sunday of Ordinary Time

Year A



Citations of

Ex 22,20-26:                      

1Ts 1,5c-10:                                

Mt 22,34-40:                      

“The first reading announces “You must not molest the stranger or oppress him, for you lived as strangers in the land of Egypt” (Ex 22:20), and it is only right that before Christ’s coming, the Scriptures invite us to give this kind of welcome.  With Christ, and through His Body, which is the Church, nobody is a foreigner! Each of us is chosen by Christ and, through Him we are made sons of the Father, a brother amongst brothers, true members of the Civitas Dei – the City ofGod, and therefore, a citizen of the Church.


Although no one is a stranger in the Church, it’s also true to say that each day we all experience a form of detachment from all that exists, even ourselves.


We could say that an exteriority exists, a being “a stranger”, that derives from our sin – and we must continuously fight against this, with the aid of the grace.  This “being a stranger” is a constituent part of the human existence and proportional to the depth of our spiritual life.


The Christian is necessarily a stranger in a world that doesn’t know God; a world that fails to love life and which is immersed in the culture of death; a world which strays from the natural order and which overrules the law of creation; a world where there’s no space for the person, for the little and the poor but only for the individual, the powerful and for money.


The Christian, and especially the priest, is necessarily a stranger in our world which is immersed in relativism, hedonism, and a culture of pleasure which in reality dulls our reason, and its only outcome is the profound alienation of men.


To be a stranger in this context isn’t a bad thing.  It represents our faith in Christ and the Gospel and it is the foundation of the prophetic force of our ministry.


The two great commandments of the love of God and the love of neighbour in the Gospel reading represent the supreme synthesis of the journey as whilst recognising the primacy of God we are also able to love our brothers.


We have to rise above the forms of anthropocentrism which have appeared in recent decades.  We imagined that human development was a necessary precursor to evangelisation.  It was said “first I must feed someone and then I can announce Jesus Christ to them”.


However, the whole social doctrine of the Church shows that evangelisation and human development form an inseparable unity which in some cases cannot be divided.  It is the proclamation of the Gospel that expands the possibilities for human development.  Ultimately, there is no better form of human development that to introduce our brothers to Christ, bringing them progressively and effectively into the mystery of a relationship with Him in communion with the Church.


Wherever we are, and in whatever circumstance of life, we can radiate the perfume of Christ which is the fruit of our Christian identity and of our lives authentically lived in communion with Him.  May the Blessed Virgin Mary, handmaid of the Lord, tabernacle of God and bright star of love protect and guard us.  If we live with Mary then we can never be lost because no part of the world would ever be foreign for us.”

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