Gospel Reflections

31st Sunday of Ordinary Time

Mark 12:28-34

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Marilyn Pechillo

Published: November 04, 2018


In this Sunday’s readings we receive commandments and hear God’s call to live like God, in love. In Deuteronomy 6 we hear the command to love God, “with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.” God, who is love, commands us to love. Psalm 18 expresses our love for God, “I love you, O Lord, my strength.” In Mark’s Gospel, (12:28—34), Jesus puts love front and center. The first and greatest commandment is to love God “with .”all your strength The second is to, “love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Today’s readings express God’s great love for us. God is love and created us out of love. God calls us to love our God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. If we are to fulfill this commandment, we must love ourselves. Do I really love myself and appreciate the way God has created me?  With all my flaws, I have many gifts.  In fact, I am the person God wants me to be.  Of course sin and human weakness keep me from being perfect, but God loves me as a work in progress. The more I accept and love myself, the more I will be able to love others and to channel God’s blessings to our world.

Jesus praises the scribe who asked the question. “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Since Jesus welcomed the question, why did no one dare, “to ask him any more questions”? Perhaps they were stunned by the simplicity of what it means to serve God.  The answer is love, not deeds or sacrifices, but love. On the other hand, they may have heard the challenge that living in love poses. If we really love, what does that demand of us? Can we love without leaving our comfort zone?  God is love, and we are called to live in that love.

May the God of goodness and love help us to walk hand in hand with God and neighbor in joy and freedom.

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