Thirty First Sunday Cycle B
November 4, 2012
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Who is your neighbor that you are to love as yourself?
In the first reading Moses has been given the Ten Commandments and now goes before the people and explains what God has done for them and now what they are to do. In a sense, how much God has loved His people and how they are to now find life.
As we listened to these readings this Sunday, we can realize that they are a reflection of how much God loves humanity now and in every generation. God in the past and even now is willing to put up with our unfaithfulness. Again and again He is calling us back to himself.
Moses gives them the Shema. "Listen Israel, the Lord our God is one. and you shall love the Lord with all your heart with all your soul with all your mind."
It is interesting to note that these words are recited daily by Jews, to remind them today, as it did the people in ancient times, that's the way to find eternal life is to love God above all things.
In the second reading, taken from the letter to the Hebrews, we once again hear Jesus described as the high priest, the one who has given up everything so that you and I can have eternal life.
He expresses his great love for humanity. As both totally God and totally human, Jesus shows us, what love is. Love God by loving the other you come in contact with every day.
In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus is being questioned as to what is the greatest commandment. In other words, what will it take to find eternal life.
Once again we hear the version of the Shema and Jesus adds, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
We know that Jesus show us with His life that everyone we meet is our neighbor.
That means not just the ones we are comfortable with, but also the ones we disagree with, the ones that give us a hard time, the ones that at times seem possible, even the ones that we make judgments on, and yes, even the enemy we encounter.
The real message is that we are to love God above all things, above our own ideas and our judgments.
At times we might fail, but the important things is not to give up but to start again and again and to pray for conversion and trust in God's great love and mercy for each of us