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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

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2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18
Psalm 128
Matthew 23:27-32

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holy is as holy loves

"Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you frauds!" —Matthew 23:27

The scribes and Pharisees thought they excelled in holiness. They fasted and tithed (Lk 11:42). They dedicated themselves to reading Scripture. They had zeal for God's house. However, they neglected "the love of God" (Lk 11:42).

This means two things. First, the scribes and Pharisees were concerned about God's words and His house (temple) but placed a lower priority on His love. They found it more important to concentrate on other parts of their religion rather than on God's command to love their neighbor (Lv 19:18). To neglect the love of God is to neglect God. In fact, "the man without love has known nothing of God, for God is love" (1 Jn 4:8).

Second, and most important, by neglecting the love of God the scribes and Pharisees neglected to personally love God. The first and most important commandment is to love God before all else (Dt 6:5). They served God but neglected to love Him.

How about you? Is there anything today more important in your life than loving God? How much priority did you place on loving God yesterday? Life is full of distractions, responsibilities, and problems which demand our time and attention. In addition, Satan attempts to prevent us from taking time to love God. Yet those who have fallen in love always manage to find plenty of time to spend with their beloved. If we want to love God, then we have chosen the best part, and we shall not be deprived of loving Him (Lk 10:42). Love God.

Prayer:  Father, nothing can separate me from loving You (Rm 8:39) except my own choice. I devote myself to love You always.

Promise:  "Happy are you who fear the Lord." —Ps 128:1

Praise:  When feeling distanced from God, Maureen goes back to the basics and remembers her First Love (cf Rv 2:4).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 26, 2006

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