Dear friends in Christ
The liturgy of this Sunday focuses our attention on Jesus as the fulfilment of the prophecies of the Old Testament. He Himself declares this when he stands up in the synagogue of His home town and tells the assembled congregation that the texts they are listening to have their completion in Him. Jesus brings with Him a new commandment, of love. This is the essence of the famous passage of St Paul which is heard in the Second Reading of the Mass this Sunday. Our Lord gave us a new and incomparably deeper meaning to love of our neighbour. He established it as a New Commandment and is the sign by which Christians will be known. Charity is not the same as natural sociability, being nice and kind to people; it goes deeper. Without pure charity, St Paul says, even the most sought-after gifts are of no value. The doctors of the Law knew very much more about God than those who followed Jesus, but this knowledge was fruitless since they did not comprehend what is most important - the presence of the Saviour in their midst, and His message of understanding, respect and love. St Paul’s teaching on charity provides a good examination of conscience for us, as to how we live this fundamental virtue: by our kindness to everyone, mercy, solicitude…in a word our normal relationship with God shown in deeds of understanding in service to the people who form part of our life. May God bless you!
Msgr Kevin Hale