31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B by Fr Isaac  A. Mensah

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31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B by Fr Isaac  A. Mensah

1st Reading Deuteronomy 6:2-6
Responsorial Psalm Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
2nd Reading Hebrews 7:23-28
Gospel Mark 12:28B-34

Theme: Love is the essence of life

Introduction

If there’s any word that has been used more frequently in the discourse of men or written about nay even composed songs and music of it in our world then it is love. Love is profound and often very difficult to define because everyone has their own definition of love. We all experience love but we do so internally. With so many (billions of) experience it is going to be difficult to nail it down. However our readings of today try to sum up the constituents of love.

Explanation of the text

In our first reading taking from the book of Deuteronomy we read how Moses just at the threshold of the promised land instructed the people to fear the Lord by observing all His statutes and commandments. By the observance of the law one expresses his/her love. In other words the love of God finds its expression in the observance of God’s laws and commandments. Moses was quick to add that the observance of the law attracts blessings for he says: ” Hear therefore, O Israel and be careful to do them; that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly”.

In our Gospel a Scribe approached Jesus to inquire from Him the greatest nay the first commandment. Jesus quoted the popular “shema prayer” ( Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength) and He hastened to add the love of neighbour as the second. Christ therefore us to balance these two great commandments. The person who loves God but does not love a neighbour is gravely deficient. “If a man says ‘I love God’ and hates his brother, he is a liar ( 1John 4:20-21). This is a tough language, given the difficulty that most of us experience with loving certain co-workers, neighbours, family members or Church members.

As envisioned in Leviticus, the neighbour is a fellow Jew. However in Luke’s Gospel, the parable of the Good Samaritan ( Luke 10:29-32) follows immediately after and expands upon Luke’s account of the greatest commandment, broadens our understanding of neighbour to include those who are outside our usual circle of friends and associates. Elsewhere, Jesus even calls us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us ( Matt 5:44; Luke 6:27-35)

Love is at the crux of anything we do. It shapes our perceptions towards things and guides our action. For example love for our parents, friends and others makes us want to do all that we would to make them happy, thereby making ourselves content in the process. Love for a job motivates us to work hard to attain it which provides us with a sense of fulfillment. And love for an enemy helps us to forgive them which rids our heart of any grudge that we may hold against them, rendering some peace of mind. Indeed love is at the heart of all our actions that lead to a sense of contentment and happiness. In other words it is what drives us towards the purpose of our lives. Love is therefore indubitably the very essence of life.

Source

www.catholicinformer.com

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