30th Sunday of Ordinary Time - Year A
A few people have more goods or money than they need for their personal survival. A common practice from ancient times has been to lend wealth to someone else with hope of a return. This was a serious issue in the bible. Scripture taught that it was immoral to charge interest. It was condemned as "usury".
Loans could be made as a charitable acts. The loaner could request a pledge or bond that the money be repaid. The first reading teaches that pledges could not be kept from the owner in dire need. A cloak could be taken, but must be returned at night.
In the Middle Ages, the term usury was applied to excessive interest. Rates were fixed by rulers, but individual terms could still make extreme demands privately.
WHY DOES GOD COMMAND US TO LOVE HIM?
Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to love God totally. If you stop and think about it, this seems a strange demand. Is God such an egotist that he has to order us to love him? Or is it rather that love is essential to our salvation?
Human beings are born without knowing how to love. We have to learn this from others: parents, friends, relatives, etc. One of the results of love is that we link with others in a personal relationship.
Heaven is achieved through our bonding with God. It's nothing that we can earn or achieve. It can only come when we intimately know God on a personal level. Hence, love is necessary for our future survival. God commands us to love him for our benefit, not his.
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