There is a story of a Filipino Priest who wanted to go to America and thus was interviewed for his visa application at the US Embassy. To determine that he was indeed a priest, the interviewing officer told him to recite the 10 Commandments in order. Forgetting its correct arrangement, the priest quipped: “Mr. Officer, don’t you know that Jesus had already reduced the 10 Commandment into just two; that is, Loving God above all things and our neighbors as ourselves.
The Jewish Rabbis tell us that there are 613 commandments (misvot in Hebrew), four of these are contained in the 1st Reading. Each of the ‘misvot’ can be subsumed under one of the Ten Commandments which have two parts as they were written by God’s own fingers on the two tablets (Exod.31:18; 24:1). Duties to God and Duties to others (people and even animals). So when the lawyer quizzed Jesus on the greatest commandment, the latter put forward a double commandment of the love of God and neighbor. Jesus’ innovative answer was an allusion to the Jewish tradition and grounded in the Torah: the first Commandment comes from the first line of the ‘Shema’, the Jews’ most fundamental expression of faith (Deut.6:4-9); and the Second Commandment is a direct quotation from Leviticus.19:18. Notice that Jesus cited the commandments in the Torah word for word; joined them back to back; ranked them as “first” and “second”; and concluded by stating that no other commandment is greater than the two. These facts show that Jesus could have been the first person to compose and even teach the Double Commandments.
How could Jesus, a simple son of a carpenter that he was, innovate such outstanding teaching as beautiful as the Golden Rule (Matt.7:12) and left scholars of the law (the ‘nomikos’ in Greek) very much impressed (Mk.12:32)? One can think that Jesus is the Son of God or that he was a natural genius, but we can say as well that Jesus’ wisdom was born of experience. He practiced what he preached. He showed his wholehearted love for the Father by willingly accepting the “cup” of suffering as what he prayed for in Gethsemane: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want” (Matt.26:39). His love for the neighbor reached its height when he “poured out” his life “for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt.26:28). The Double Commandment of the Love of God and neighbor around which the entire Scripture revolves can also be said to contain what Christianity in a nut-shell is all about.
#15. A JOKE FROM ST. JOE: Missionary: “Never in the history of hunting has a cannibal eaten a clown. What is the reason?” Hunter: “Because clowns taste funny.”
This Sunday is Priesthood Sunday, please pray for all priests especially those who have been assigned to St. Joseph Parish. It is also National World Youth Day (U.S.A.) let us also include in our devoted prayer our young people in this country especially the “Millennials”. On this Tuesday, we have Halloween. After this, we have the first days of November. Remember the Solemnity of ALL SAINTS (Nov.1) is a Holy Day of Obligation. We have our regular Mass at 8AM and a Special Mass at 6PM. Nov.2 is All Souls’ Day and the start of our whole month remembering our beloved Dead. We will have two Masses: at *;00 am and 9:30 am. Be sure you print their names on the envelopes that will be given to you. The other days of this week are optional memorials of St. Martin de Porres and St. Charles Borromeo. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin.
Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,