Sunday, September 17 (4), 2023
15th Sunday after Pentecost
2Cor. 4:6-15; Mt. 22:35-46
The Lord is bringing forward the commandment of love of God and neighbor, immediately adding to it His teaching that He is the Son of God and God Himself. [Mt. 22:35-46]. Why is that? Because genuine love of God and men is out of the question unless our faith in the Divinity of Christ the Savior, the Incarnate Son of God, makes it possible.
Firstly, such faith gives rise to love of God: for how can we fail to love Him, Who loves us so much that He did not spare His only-begotten Son, but gave Him to die for us? [Jn.3:16] The same faith also brings this love to perfection, to its purpose, to what it looks for, – that is, to the living union with God. To attain to this union, one has to overcome the fear of Lord's justice, of his righteous vengeance for the sin, – which is accomplished through the faith in Lord's sacrifice on the Cross and His resurrection. Thus, faith opens up the entire path of love of God.
Secondly, the faith in the Son of God Who was incarnate, tormented, killed and buried for our sake offers us exemplary love of men: for what is true love but giving one's life for the loved ones? [Jn.15:13] The same faith also gives us strength to make this love manifest. Such love means that we ought to change from old to new, to be converted from selfishness to self-sacrifice. Only in Christ man becomes a new creature [2Cor. 5:17]; to be in Christ, we must unite ourselves with Him through revival in faith and Grace of the holy Sacraments.
Hence, the hope of those who wish to preserve at least some moral order while doing away with faith is futile. Human being is indivisible by nature: it's either all or nothing.