Monday, 23 November, 2020

What cannot be expressed in neighbour’s love is not God’s true love; what is not based on God’s love is not a genuine love of neighbour. 

Papa no Angelus o verdadeiro amor ao proximo baseia se no amor a Deus Foto Vatican News

Vatican City (10/26/2020, 10:55, Gaudium Press) — This Sunday, October 25, Pope Francis began the catechesis preceding the recitation of the Marian prayer of the Angelus recalling the Gospel of St. Matthew 22, 34-40.

The Pope recalled that when a doctor of the Law asked Jesus what is “the great commandment,” which is the primary commandment of all divine Law, Jesus answered: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” And then Our Lord adds: “The second is like this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ He who does not love his brother, whom he sees, cannot love God, whom he does not see.”

Faith does not consist of “forced obedience.”

Francis states that faith does not consist of “forced obedience.”

“Jesus’ response -the Pope comments-once again takes up and joins two fundamental precepts, which God gave his people through Moses,” and therefore, Francis affirms that faith does not consist of “forced obedience.”

For the Pontiff, Jesus establishes two essential foundations for believers of all times: “The first is that moral and religious life cannot be reduced to an anxious and forced obedience. The second principle is that love must tend together and inseparably toward God and neighbour.”

What is not based on the love of God is not the true love of neighbour.

Francis recalls that This is one of Jesus’ primary innovations and it helps us understand that what is not expressed in love of neighbour is not true love of God; and, likewise, what is not drawn from one’s relationship with God is not true love of neighbour. And love for neighbour, which is also called fraternal charity, consists in closeness, listening, sharing, caring for others.”

Jesus helps us go to the living and effusive source of love: God himself.

According to the Pope, “in today’s Gospel passage, once again, Jesus helps us go to the living and gushing wellspring of Love.”

For Francis, such a source is God himself, to be loved totally in a communion that nothing and no one can break: “A communion that is a gift to be requested each day, but also a personal commitment not to let our lives become enslaved by the idols of the world. And the proof of our journey of conversion and holiness always consists in love of neighbour. This is the test: if I say “I love God” and do not love my neighbour, it does not work. The verification that I love God is that I love my neighbour. As long as there is a brother or sister to whom we close our hearts, we will still be far from being disciples as Jesus asks us. But his divine mercy does not allow us to be discouraged, but rather calls us to begin anew each day to live the Gospel consistently.” (JSG)

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