31ST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B)
First Reading: Deuteronomy 6:2-6 Responsorial Psalm: 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51 Second Reading: Hebrews 7:23-28 Gospel Reading: Mark 12:28b-34
Reflection: In today’s Responsorial Psalm we have responded, “I love you, Lord, my strength.” This is a very powerful statement and prayer to God. It is short and straightforward prayer which can be prayed all day long to express our love and perception to God. God is our strength and we love him. In Today’s Gospel Reading, the scribes come to Jesus and ask him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus’ response to this question is fully connected to God’s teaching given to his people Israel as it found in today’s First Reading from the Book of Deuteronomy. “Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There are no other commandment greater than these.” In the time when the scribes asked this question, there were volumes of laws and regulations which people of Israel had to memorize and observe. They were too many to be remembered and fully observed. They were confusing and became a burden to many ordinary believers. Jesus is coming to clear the clouds, which prevented people to see clearly the root of God’s law. God’s law is rooted in the act of love, which starts and ends in him. God is love and he invites us in his love so that we may be able to love properly. God invites us to love him first with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. It is through this devoted love of God that we, human beings are able to excel in knowing and embracing God’s will in our daily lives. Yes, it is in loving God first that we will be able to know and embrace his divine will and truly be able to extend that love to ourselves, to other people and the entire creation. I am always fascinated with the love a parents to their children. A parent drops a two-year old child in school. She walks her son to the door, kneels down and kiss him on his face and tells him, “I love you Jaden. You can go to school. You will be ok. I will see you after school.” Jaden responds to mom. He kisses her and responds, “I love you mom.” Mom’s love to Jaden and Jaden’s love to mom are one and they remain one even when they are physically separated during school time. In all times, Jaden remembers all what his mom taught him: to love and respect his teachers and his fellow students; to love and carry his studies; always to carry the will of his parents. That is what God is, to all of us. He loves us always and he has loved us first. We need to love him always because he is our strength. Yes! Amen! Fr. Severine.
Each year, the Pope designates the month of October as World Mission Month and the next-to-last Sunday in October as World Mission Sunday. On that Sunday, Catholics are united in celebration of our common vocation to mission, focusing on the Pope’s missions around the world and the missionaries who dedicate themselves to their service.
During this unique time, the Church draws together to support, in prayer and through financial help, the proclamation of the Gospel; vocations to the priesthood and religious life; the building of churches and chapels; and the efforts of priests, religious Sisters and Brothers, and lay pastoral leaders as they help the poor, the hungry, and seek the spiritually abandoned.
This year, World Mission Sunday is October 24; however, the entire month is devoted to learning more about the Pope’s missions and supporting their success through prayer and donations.
100th CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
Blessed Sacrament 100th Centennial Celebration Mass
Bishop Douglas Lucia presiding
on 9/19/21 at 2pm
Rev. Msgr. T. Elmer
Rev. Msgr. M. Meagher
Rev. Msgr. R. Kopp
Rev. P. Hearn
Rev. J. Cesta
Rev. K. Maloney
Rev. P. Reddick
Rev. S. Yagaza