READING 1: EZEKIEL EZ 37:1-14
The hand of the LORD came upon me,
and led me out in the Spirit of the LORD
and set me in the center of the plain,
which was now filled with bones.
He made me walk among the bones in every direction
so that I saw how many they were on the surface of the plain.
How dry they were!
He asked me:
Son of man, can these bones come to life?
I answered, “Lord GOD, you alone know that.”
Then he said to me:
Prophesy over these bones, and say to them:
Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!
Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones:
See! I will bring spirit into you, that you may come to life.
I will put sinews upon you, make flesh grow over you,
cover you with skin, and put spirit in you
so that you may come to life and know that I am the LORD.
I prophesied as I had been told,
and even as I was prophesying I heard a noise;
it was a rattling as the bones came together, bone joining bone.
I saw the sinews and the flesh come upon them,
and the skin cover them, but there was no spirit in them.
Then the LORD said to me:
Prophesy to the spirit, prophesy, son of man,
and say to the spirit: Thus says the Lord GOD
From the four winds come, O spirit,
and breathe into these slain that they may come to life.
I prophesied as he told me, and the spirit came into them;
they came alive and stood upright, a vast army.
Then he said to me:
Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.
They have been saying,
“Our bones are dried up,
our hope is lost, and we are cut off.”
Therefore, prophesy and say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.
GOSPEL MATTHEW: MT 22:34-40
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Friday of 20th Week in Ordinary Time – (Mt 22:34-40)
THE WORD OF GOD FOR US
Dear People of God,
The Word of God today teaches all mankind about the Law of God.
The law given by God to mankind must be placed above all laws is the ‘Law of Love’: Law of Love towards God and the Law of Love towards neighbor. These two laws must always go hand in hand. Therefore, all the other laws are given just to help people reach this ‘Law of Love’. God wants each of us to live and keep the Law of God, that is to Love God above all things: with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and love our neighbor as yourself.
God loves mankind, so He tells people that in the Kingdom of Heaven, souls only have great reverence and worship for God alone, and love love all other souls. Therefore, God invites everyone to live and practice His Law of Love, which is: “Love God above all things and love our neighbor as ourselves”. If we can live according to God’s law, we will have eternal life in the future and always be with God forever in His Kingdom.
“Love God above all things and love your neighbor as yourself” are the most important laws, which Jesus himself came to earth to give to human beings. It is Jesus that accomplish to make the old law more perfect. These two laws must be put into practice together: To love God above all without loving neighbor is not pleasing to God, because God is present in the soul of every human being. Therefore, God invites each of us whenever says we loves God must also love our neighbor. We will please God by living and practicing those two important laws, and we will be rewarded with the Kingdom of Heaven in the future.
Thanks be to God. Amen.