LECTIO DIVINA: XXX Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

1

Translated by Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Mt.22:34-40

A. INVOCATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

WE INVOKE THE HOLY SPIRIT USING THE WORDS OF ST. AUGUSTINE

Come, Holy Spirit, by whom every devout soul, who believes in Christ, is sanctified to become a citizen of the City of God! (en. Ps. 45:8) Come, Holy Spirit, grant that we receive the motions of God; put in us your flame; enlighten us and raise us up to God (s. 128, 4). Amen.

B. LECTIO

WITH THE HEART WELL DISPOSED, WITH SERENITY, READ SLOWLY THE FOLLOWING WORDS, SAVORING THEM AND ALLOWING YOURSELF TO BE TOUCHED BY THEM.

When the Pharisees heard that he 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, withal 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.”

C. MEDITATIO

LET US MEDITATE NOW WITH THE COMMENTARY OF ST. AUGUSTINE ON THESE WORDS OF THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW.

“And thus, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. In these two precepts are fulfilled the whole Law and the Prophets. Listen also to the Apostle; he says, The fullness of the Law is charity. He did not send you to fulfill many precepts: neither ten, not two. Only charity fulfills them all. But charity is double: towards God and towards the neighbor. Towards God in what measure? With all. To what does this all refer? Not to the ear, not to the nose, not to the hand, not to the foot. With what can one love in total form? With all the heart, with all the soul, with all the mind; you shall love the fountain of life with all that in you has life. If, therefore, I must love God with all that in me has life, what is left for me to love the neighbor? When the precept to love the neighbor was given to you, it was not said: “With all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind,” rather: as yourself. You must love God with your whole being because he is greater than you, and your neighbor as yourself, because he is what you are.

The precepts are thus two; the objects of love are, however, three. Two precepts are given: love of God and love of neighbor; nevertheless, I see that there are three objects of love. Thus, it would not be said: and your neighbor as yourself, if you do not love yourself. If there are three objects of love, why then are there only two precepts? Why? Take it. God did not consider it necessary to exhort you to love yourself, because there is no one who does not love himself. But since many go to perdition for wrongly loving the self, telling you to love God with your whole being at the same time he gave you the norm how you are to love yourself. Do you want to love yourself? Love God with your whole being because it is there you will find yourself, so that you will not be lost in yourself. If you love the self in yourself, you will also fall by yourself, and your search outside yourself will be a long journey. That is why the Apostle began the enumeration of all evil starting from there when he says: There will be men lovers of themselves. So you chose to love the self in yourself; let us see if you maintain the self in yourself. That is false, you do not remain there; you fell from God and you will fall from yourself. Because the foundation is there; to him you must adhere, in him must you find your strength, your place of refuge. Now however, you loosen your bond of love or you go away from him to put it in yourself; but you do not even remain in yourself. Listen finally to the Apostle himself. After having said: There will be men lovers of themselves, he added in continuation: lovers of money. Have I not just said that you do not even remain in yourself? Or perhaps, you and money are one and the same thing? Behold, you also departed from yourself, because you have departed from God.

Therefore, you have been given the norm according to which you are to love yourself: Love someone greater than you and you have loved yourself. And I am speaking about what is greater by nature, not by will (choice). Because there can be found many men who are greater than you by choice; but only God is so by nature: he is the Creator, the founder, the maker, who is made by nobody. Cleave to him. Understand once for all and say: On the other hand, for me. For you on the other hand, what?It is good to adhere to God. Why? Pay attention to what I said before: You made to perish all who depart from you. Precisely because he made to perish all who depart from him, you have found yourself. For me, on the other hand, it is good to adhere to God, that is, not to withdraw from him, not to depart from him. Do you want to see what is promised you on this matter? But he who adheres to the Lord, is only one spirit. This then is your love, or the love for yourself, that is, the love with which you love yourself in order to love God. Now I also entrust to you your neighbor that you may love him as yourself, because I see that you have begun to love yourself. Therefore, you take along wherever you go someone whom you love as yourself” (s. 179A, 3-4).

D. ORATIO

WITH THE TEXT, LET US NOW PRAY FROM THE DEPTHS OF OUR HEART. I SUGGEST THE FOLLOWING PHRASES AND QUESTIONS THAT CAN AWAKEN IN YOU DIALOGUE WITH GOD, AND AT THE SAME TIME CAN GIVE RISE TO AFFECTIONS AND SENTIMENTS IN YOUR DIALOGUE WITH GOD. DO NOT MOVE TO THE NEXT PHRASE OR QUESTION IF YOU CAN STILL CONTINUE DIALOGUING WITH GOD IN ONE OF THEM. IT IS NOT A MATTER OF EXHAUSTING THE LIST, BUT OF HELPING YOU TO PRAY WITH SOME POINTS THAT BETTER FIT YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

a. “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your being” (Mt. 22:37).

•How is your love for God?
•How do you show your love for God?

b. “This then is your love, that is, the love for yourself, the love with which you love yourself in order to love God. Now I entrust to you also your neighbor that you may love him as you love yourself” (s. 179A, 4).

•Why is it necessary to love oneself before being able to love the neighbor?
•How must be your love for your neighbor?

c. Pray with this statement: “Love and do what you wish” (ep, Io. tr. 7, 8).

E. CONTEMPLATIO

I PROPOSE TO YOU SOME POINTS FOR AFFECTIVE INTERIOR CONTEMPLATION. ONCE AGAIN, YOU NEED NOT FOLLOW ALL OF IT, RATHER YOU CAN CHOOSE WHAT FITS YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

a. Contemplate how God loves you. Contemplate and feel in your heart the infinite love of God for you. Allow yourself to be embraced by the love of God; embrace God with love and contemplate how God’s love fills your life and envelops it. Do not hurry, contemplate and love. Contemplate, give thanks and adore.

b. Contemplate how Christ invites you to love your neighbor, and how Christ himself is found in all the persons around you. Contemplate how Christ himself with his hands fills your heart with love so that you can share that love with those around you. Contemplate how that love inundates your life and your heart. Contemplate and adore.

F. COMMUNICATIO

THINK OF EVERYTHING THAT YOU CAN SHARE WITH THOSE AROUND YOU ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE YOU HAD WITH GOD, ESPECIALLY CONCERNING THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST AND THE UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT. THE FOLLOWING POINTS CAN HELP YOU AS GUIDE TO SHARE WITH YOUR COMMUNITY THE EXPERIENCE OF THE LECTIO DIVINA ON THIS TEXT.

  • What have I discovered about God and about myself in this moment of prayer?
  • How can I apply this text of Scripture at this moment of my life? What light does it give me? What challenges does it put before me?
  • What concrete commitment does this text of Scripture ask of me in my spiritual life, in my community life?
  • What has been my predominant sentiment during this moment of prayer?

G. FINAL PRAYER OF ST. AUGUSTINE Turning towards the Lord: Lord God, Father Almighty, with a pure heart, as far as our littleness permits, allow us to give you our most devoted and sincere thanks, begging with all our strength from your particular goodness, that by your power you may drive away the enemy from all our thoughts and actions; that you may increase our faith, govern our mind, give us spiritual thoughts, and bring us to your happiness, through your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, who with you lives and reigns, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen (en, Ps. 150:8).

“How shall one love his neighbor like himself if he does not know himself?” (en. Ps. 118:8, 2).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fray Dunstan Huberto Decena, OAR

Fray Hubert Dunstan Decena, OAR

Priest/Religious/Bible Professor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.

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< 2020 >
November
SMTuWThFS
1
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    November 1, 2020

    ALL SAINTS’ DAY
    “The Solemnity of All Saints is ‘our’ feast not because we are good, but because the holiness of God touches our lives.” (Pope Francis)

    BIRTHDAY
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2
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    +ALL SOULS’ DAY

    As we prayerfully remember our beloved dead, we are reminded that eternal life “is not an unending succession of days, but an immersion of oneself in the ocean of infinite love, in which time, before and after, no longer exists.” (Pope Benedict XVI)

    Note: The customary celebration of the mass on this day at Himlayang Pilipino by the Recoletos Family members in Luzon is canceled. (cf. IATF Resolution No. 72, dated Sept. 17, 2020)

    NOTE: PLENARY INDULGENCE is extended beyond Nov. 1-8, 2020. Cf. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2020-10/decree-plenary-indulgence- faithful-departed-november.html

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3
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4
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5
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6
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8
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9
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16
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17
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18
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19
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20
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22
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23
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24
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25
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2627
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28
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    CONSISTORY FOR THE CREATION OF 13 NEW CARDINALS
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    • Italian Marcello Semeraro (new Prefect for the Congregation of Saints’ Causes)
    • Archbishop of Kilgali, Rwanda, Antoine Kambanda
    •  Archbishop of Washington, United States, Wilton Gregory
    • Archbishop of Capiz, Philippines, Jose Fuerte Advincula
    •  Archbishop of Santiago, Chile, Celestino Aós Braco
    • Apostolic Vicar of Brunei, Cornelius Sim
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    Above 80:

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    •  Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Papal Household
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    (2013-2020)
    Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo
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    9th ANNIVERSARY (2011-2020) OF ACCEPTANCE AS BROTHERS/SISTER GENERAL OF THE ORDER (OAR)
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29
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    Sr. Ma. Ester Anacleto, AR

30
  • All day
    November 30, 2020

    ST. ANDREW, apostle

    Holiday: BONIFACIO DAY

     

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