Reflection on the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

1

Ex. 22:20-26; 1 Thes 1:5c-10; Mt. 22:34-40.

The verb “love” does not appear in the Torah until Dt. 6:5 in the great “Shema”: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. Therefore, you shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.” In the New Testament, St. Mark will add “with all your mind”.  For many, love is a feeling, an affection. But Deuteronomy talks not of affective love but of effective love. To love God is to “keep his commandments” (Dt 7:9; 30:16). The second requisite of this love is “walking in his ways” (Dt 8:6; 19:9; 30:16). “To love and serve the Lord your God” must go hand in hand (Dt. 10:12 & 11:13). Loving God also meant “heeding his voice” (Dt 30:2, 20). Most of all, I love the Lord my God by “holding fast to him”, by “clinging to him” no matter what, in sickness or in health, for richer or for poorer (Dt 13:5; 30:20). Does my love for my Lord and God have these qualities? Many times, when sickness or financial crash comes, we question God or doubt his love and care. The Torah, however, tells us to cling to him, no matter what (kapit tuko sa Panginoon).

The second part of the commandment is found in Leviticus 19:18, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The first to note is what Exodus (22:21-23) in our first reading says. It is a strong threat from God himself: “You shall not wrong any widow or orphan. If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry. My wrath will flare up, and I will kill you with the sword; then your own wives will be widows and your children orphans.” Oppression, molestation, and bullying are clearly against God’s command to love the neighbor, and yet these continue to happen in our midst. A beautiful instruction is contained in Dt 24: 19-22 and it is worth quoting here: “When you reap the harvest in your field and overlook a sheaf there, you shall not go back to get it; let it be for the alien, the orphan or the widow, that the Lord, your God may bless you in all your under-takings. When you knock down the fruit of your olive trees, you shall not go over the branches a second time; let what remains be for the alien, the orphan and the widow. When you pick your grapes, you shall not go over the vineyard a second time; let what remains be for the alien, the orphan, and the widow.” As I go home with a bountiful harvest from the field, or a big bonus from my job, or a big profit from a sale, have I thought of giving a share to the less fortunate?

This love for neighbor was extended to the alien in Lev 19:33-34, “When an alien resides with you in your land, do not molest him. You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; love him as yourself, for you too were aliens in the land of Egypt.”

We are wont to think that love for enemy is given only in the New Testament when Jesus says in Mt 5:44, “Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you.” Surprisingly, we already find in Ex 23:4-5 a helpful attitude towards someone who hates us: “When you come upon your enemy’s ox or ass going astray, see to it that it is returned to him. When you notice the ass of one who hates you lying prostrate under a burden, by no means desert him; help him, rather, to raise it up.” If I cannot love my enemy, I am still commanded to help him and not allow him to be overburdened or endangered. Thus it was even in the Old Testament. When Jesus comes the command would start with the Lord’s Prayer: “as we forgive those who trespass against us” culminating with a new command- ment at the Last Supper: “love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 13:34), i.e., dying for the other. Therefore, our love for God and neighbor must not remain in sighs and tears and murmuring sweet nothings to God or to our loved ones. It must be translated into action seeking God’s will in everything we do for Him and for our neighbor. God seeks not so much affective love as effective love.

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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
  • All day
    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
    Sr. Marjorie Palacat, AR

2
  • All day
    November 2, 2020

    +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

    BIRTHDAY
    Jovert Jimenez (RAY-Caidiocan)

3
  • All day
    November 3, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Lolita Esteves, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1971-2020)
    Fray Regino Bangcaya

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Bernardita Villamor, AR

4
  • All day
    November 4, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR OAR VOCATION (cf. LAMP I,5c) GENERAL COUNCIL MEETING / Rome / November 4-6

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Zenaida Cabanes, AR
    Sr. Ma. Esperanza Mae Valmores, AR

5
  • All day
    November 5, 2020

    NEGROS DAY / AL CINCO DE NOVIEMBRE

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Romeo Ben Potencio, Jr.
    Fray Rey Jay Quevedo (simply prof.)
    Andrei John Ea (RAY-Bacolod)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    (2000-2020)
    Fray Federico de la Rosa

6
  • All day
    November 6, 2020

    COMMEMORATION OF THE DECEASED MEMBERS OF THE ORDER

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Leoncia Bandal, AR
    Sr. Rona Alaza, AR
    Sr. Liezl Palabrica, AR
    Jeaseamaine Genelaso (RAY-Provincialate)

7
  • All day
    November 7, 2020

    SOLEMN PROFESSION OF FRAY RAMON B. BITANCOR III, OAR
    Venue: OLCP Mira-Nila Homes, Quezon City Time: 10:00 A.M.

    BLD. GRATIA OF KOTOR, Religious (Patron of OAR Lay Collaborators)

    9th CATHOLIC SOCIAL MEDIA SUMMIT
    VISIT: https://catholicsocialmediasummit.com/

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Ma. Cecilia Palomo, AR

8
  • All day
    November 8, 2020

    START OF THE NOVENA TO NUESTRA SRA. DE LA SALUD

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Alfreda Galinato, AR

9
  • All day
    November 9, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Emilio Jaruda, Jr.

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Jesus Pastor Paloma (1996-2020)

10
  • All day
    November 10, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Hermosilla Torreon, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Lourdes de San Agustin, AR

11
  • All day
    November 11, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Gemma Netollama, AR
    Sr. Christie Maquiling, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Fernanda Balaba, AR

12
  • All day
    November 12, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Cristine Tenio, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Corazon Nartia, AR

13
  • All day
    November 13, 2020

    ST. AUGUSTINE’S 1,666th BIRTHDAY

    ALL SAINTS OF THE ORDER

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Remedios de la Cruz, AR
    Sr. Rechilda Llorando, AR

14
  • All day
    November 14, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Clementina Galve, AR
    Sr. Luzviminda Escal, AR

15
  • All day
    November 15, 2020

    WORLD DAY OF THE POOR

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Marites Carasig, OAR (Tangub Monastery)
    Sr. Ma. Elisa Abellaniza, AR

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Encarnacion del Santissimo Sacramento, AR
    Sr. Consolacion Salamanca, AR
    Sr. Ma. Belen Muñez, AR
    Sr. Juana Mirasol, AR

16
  • All day
    November 16, 2020-November 26, 2020

    SIMBANG GABI STARTS

    BIRTHDAY
    Danica Padilla (RAY-Baguio)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Evangeline Geuncion, AR
    +Sr. Paulina Admana, AR
    +Sr. Ma. Milagros Lucero, AR

  • All day
    November 16, 2020

    DEDICATION AND CONSECRATION of the newly-renovated church of OLMCP-R, Cebu City
    Mass Presider: Archbp. Jose Palma, D.D.
    Live streaming at 4:00 P.M

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Roldan Benemerito (novice)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Mo. Carmen Alba, AR

17
  • All day
    November 17, 2020

    SOLEMNITY OF NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA SALUD
    Fiesta Mass of La Salud @ SNDTP Quezon City|
    Live streaming @ 6:00 P.M.

    Fiesta Mass of La Salud @ OLMCP-R Cebu

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Nestor Raras
    Fray James Francis Bago (novice)

18
  • All day
    November 18, 2020

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ricarda Raganas, AR

19
  • All day
    November 19, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE SICK (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Dolores Diana, AR
    Sr. Nobie Noman, AR
    Sr. Ma. Jeanne Partosa, AR
    Sr. Josephine Tanio, AR

20
  • All day
    November 20, 2020

    50th ANNIVERSARY OF POPE PAUL VIs “DECRETUM LAUDIS” granted to the Congregation of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters
    Mass Presider: Bp. Broderick Pabillo, D.D.
    Time: 10:00 A.M.

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ralph Laureen Ciceron
    Mo. Eufemia Lauzon, AR
    Rea Mae Avila (RAY-Provincialate)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SOLEMN PROFESSION
    (2001-2020)
    Mo. Ma. Emy Catalonia, OAR (Tangub Monastery)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Celestina de San Nicolas de Tolentino, AR

21
  • All day
    November 21, 2020

    ANNIVERSARY OF APPOINTMENT AS ARCHBISHOP
    Archbp. Peter Liu Cheng-chung (Diocese of Kaoshiung, Taiwan)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (1998-2020)
    Mo. Ma. Emy Catalonia, OAR (Tangub Monastery)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Fray Santos Serato (2003-2020)
    Sr. Ma. Clara Flores, AR

22
  • All day
    November 22, 2020

    SOLEMNITY OF CHRIST THE KING

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Consejo de Santa Monica, AR
    Sr. Ma. Paulita Llacer, AR

23
  • All day
    November 23, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Erika Nicole Fruylan (RAY-Bacolod)

24
  • All day
    November 24, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Sir Michael Dineros
    Sr. Fulgencia Relos, AR
    Sr. Cathryn Nove Vila, AR
    Sherwin Louie Laserna (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Imelda Lachica, AR
    Sr. Mary Bernard Matanguihan, AR

25
  • All day
    November 25, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Feliciano Campomanes, Jr
    Sr. Ma. Ninfa Inzon, AR
    Kate Lynn Alvarado (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Carmela de Santa Teresita, AR
    Sr. Francisca Abad, AR

2627
  • All day
    November 27, 2020

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ivan Cuison (simply prof.)
    Sr. Antonietta Castañares, AR
    Sr. Rhiza Eltanal, AR

28
  • All day
    November 28, 2020

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    CONSISTORY FOR THE CREATION OF 13 NEW CARDINALS
    [Cardinals wear the color red which indicates their willingness to sacrifice themselves usque ad sanguinis effusionem, that is, to the point of shedding their own blood, in the service of the Successor of Peter]

    Below 80:

    • Maltese Mario Grech (Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops)
    • 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
    • Archbishop of Siena, Italia, Augusto Paolo Lojudice
    •  Italian Fr. Mauro Gambetti (Guardian of the Franciscan Sacro Convento in Assisi)

     

    Above 80:

    • Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, Archbishop Emeritus of San Cristóbal de Las Casas (Mexico)
    •  former Apostolic Nuncio Silvano Tomasi, former permanent observer at the United Nations in Geneva who then worked in the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
    •  Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Papal Household
    • Pastor of the Shrine of Divine Love, Msgr. Enrico Feroci

     

    XXII FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY of the PROVINCE OF ST. EZEKIEL MORENO (1998-2020)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Eva Grace Cadungog, AR

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2013-2020)
    Fray Jose Prudencio Castillo
    Fray Giovanni Gil Magbojos
    Fray Alexus Mansueto
    Fray Joseph Cyprian Panaligan

    9th ANNIVERSARY (2011-2020) OF ACCEPTANCE AS BROTHERS/SISTER GENERAL OF THE ORDER (OAR)
    Hon. Rufus Rodriguez
    Mr. Fulgencio Culaton
    Dr. Milagros Espina

29
  • All day
    November 29, 2020

    FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Glynn Ortega

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    Sr. Ma. Ester Anacleto, AR

30
  • All day
    November 30, 2020

    ST. ANDREW, apostle

    Holiday: BONIFACIO DAY

     

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