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Sunday, October 23, 2011

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30th Sunday Ordinary Time

Exodus 22:20-26
1 Thessalonians 1:5-10
Psalm 18:2-4, 47, 51
Matthew 22:34-40

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a "whole" in my heart

"You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart." —Matthew 22:37

We disciples are called to holiness. We are also called to "whole-liness." We are to love God with our whole heart, our whole soul, and our whole mind (Mt 22:37).

It all begins with God's love for us. "The love of God [is] poured out in our hearts" (Rm 5:5). God's poured-out love fills our hearts with love for Him and for others (Mt 22:37). So "we, for our part, love because He first loved us" (1 Jn 4:19). Now we are full of God's love.

True love, however, is not satisfied with being full. Love wants to grow and is always searching for a never-ending increase of still more love. Impelled by love (2 Cor 5:14), we ask God to give us a new heart (Ez 36:26). Now God pours out His love again (Rm 5:5) and our whole heart is filled. Overflowing with love, we can't help but respond to God with more love. Therefore, we ask God to "enlarge" our hearts (Acts 20:32) so we can love Him even more. We even reach the point where we love God so much that we abide in God and God in us (1 Jn 4:16).

This cycle of love continues until the day of our death. On that day, we should have a huge heart of love for the Lord. At our death, we who love the Lord with our whole heart will rejoice as we see "what God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor 2:9). We will see Him "face to face" (1 Cor 13:12).

Prayer:  Father, I can't love You if I don't love Your people. Help me to love myself, then love my neighbor as myself (Mt 22:39).

Promise:  "Praised be the Lord, I exclaim, and I am safe from my enemies." —Ps 18:4

Praise:  "Praise the Lord, O my soul; I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live" (Ps 146:1-2).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Bishop-Elect, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 26, 2011 (for 10-1-2011 through 11-29-2011) and May 26, 2011 (for 11-30-2011)

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