St. Michael and All Angels
We seek to be a light of Christ in the community, where all are welcome to experience God's love and blessings.

October 31, 2021 - Proper 26 (23rd Sunday after Pentecost)

How do you deal with those you find difficult to love?

“‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ … ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

My friends, in this statement from Jesus is found our action plan, our instruction for how to live life. We are called to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. How is it that we define the verb “to love”? And how do we demonstrate that love in our daily life? 

Why is it also necessary to love our neighbors in order to complete the first commandment? What does Jesus’ instruction reveal to us about the connection between our relationship with God and our relationship with our neighbor? Helmut Thieckle once said, “You will meet God in the imprisoned, the hungry, and the naked.” As humans, we can do nothing outright for our God; we can only show that we love God by our actions and bestowing God’s love upon our fellow creatures.

Rainer Maria Rilke, the Austrian poet and novelist, once wrote, “For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.” Jesus calls us to love our neighbor, but it is sometimes difficult to love all those with whom we come into contact. How do you deal with those people you find difficult to love? But more importantly, how can we as a gathered community, help one another in this important aspect of our life in Christ?