15C19. Deuteronomy 30:10-14. Moses is encouraging the people to be faithful to the Law, especially the great commandment to love God with all one’s heart and soul. To love God is to do what our hearts and mind already know is good and right.
Luke 10:25-37. The scribe or scholar of the law responds to Jesus’ question, saying, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” In turn, Jesus responds, “Do this and you will live.” Death comes from disobedience to God’s will; but life, from love of God and his will. The scribe, who did not wish to appear shallow, since he had to move on so quickly with such an easy answer that did not show any depth of knowledge, continued by asking Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Usually the term neighbor only included someone who was connected to one by blood, ethnic or religious lines and not the alien. In the Old Testament this issue of welcoming the alien or foreigner was addressed because there were times when the Israelite himself was an alien. The priest and the Levite passed the victim by because they would have become ritually impure according to the Law by coming into contact with wounded man’s blood. Besides that it was an oxymoron, an impossible contradiction, for there to be a ‘good Samaritan’. The Jews who worshiped in Jerusalem considered the Jews who worshiped in Samaria to be fake Jews who desecrated true Judaism by worshiping in Samaria and not Jerusalem. Jesus was saying to the scribe that loving as God loves all of us is the love that God calls us to. Then “Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’”
Colossians 1:15-20. The notes in ‘The New American Bible’ says concerning this reading: “As the poetic arrangement indicates, these lines were probably an early Christian hymn,” that declares the absolute centrality of Jesus to our faith. As we love God with everything that we have, so too we must love Jesus totally. In Jesus is the invisible God made visible. At one and same time, he is created and so he is a creature, yet also at one and the same time, the creator. “Through him to reconcile all things” he makes “peace by the blood of his cross” so to bring to God all that was aliened from God by sin. He is preeminent, the head of the body, the church, drawing all to himself and then through him to God the Father. All is made whole and holy as he leads his followers to be made new in him. As the Old Testament reading said, “For this command that I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you.” We only need to have Jesus as the measure of all things. Jesus says in John 15:12, “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”