October 26, 2014 – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Ex 22: 20-26; Ps 18: 2-4, 47, 51; 1 Thes 1: 5C-10; Mt 22: 34-40
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus advises the Pharisees and others who are listening to Him. This was in answer to a “trick” question posed to him by a lawyer among the Pharisees. The questioner wanted the Lord to give a response that might appear to lessen other commandments. Instead, Jesus points out that there are some commandments from our God that are greater than our traditional Ten Commandments.
“You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” We are first called to that relationship with God, a relationship which acknowledges God’s love of us, and results in our own love of the Lord. That is where stewardship must begin with each of us — through developing a loving bond with God. However, Jesus then explains to us how we must relate to one another: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Many misinterpret Christ’s admonition to mean that we must love ourselves first. He was not saying that we must love ourselves before we love anyone else. He was saying nonetheless that our focus as stewards needs to be on serving and loving others. The good steward respects, regards, and loves others as he or she might expect to be treated. Love and stewardship are very much the same — each strives to put others before our own interests.