31st Sunday in OT - October 31, 2021

The first reading for Deuteronomy today provides a bit of the context of the original formulation of the two great commands Jesus gave to us in the gospel.  Unlike Jesus, Moses is not responding to a question.  He is wrapping up his presentation of the terms of the covenant between God and the Chosen People.  The most important message of the Ten Commandments is their fidelity to this covenant.  Fidelity demands an absolute faithfulness.  So the emphasis is not so much on heart, soul, and strength as separate entities, but on the repeated word of all.  This faithfulness to God requires a commitment from our whole being.

Throughout our faith journey we have come to recognize and believe that God loves us with an everlasting love.  We in turn respond by learning to love God with all our heart, with all our understanding and with all our strength.  What shows in our lives that God is number one, our greatest priority?  As Catholics, one of the most important ways we do that is by celebrating Mass each weekend.  St. Pope John Paul II writes in Dies domini, “The Eucharist is the full realization of the worship which humanity owes to God, and cannot be compared to any other religious experience!”  In spite of that, only about 25% of our people attend Mass on a weekend.  Since the pandemic, about 80% of our people who were active in their faith have returned.  Added to that so many of our younger people never attend.  This is not only   bad for the future of the Catholic Church but also for their future happiness.  We see already the selfishness that seems to permeate our society.  For how can we love a God we cannot see, if we don’t love our neighbor who we do see?  Loving God and our neighbor go hand in hand.

When Jesus saw that the good scribe, the lawyer, spoke well of these holy things, he added that he was not far from the kingdom.  The scribe was merely near the kingdom.  This should warn us not to overrate what we know of Jesus.  All that matters ultimately is that    we live it.

Love, Peace, Joy,

Fr. Bob

Monday is the Solemnity of All Saints.  Normally this feast is a holy  day of obligation.  Since it falls on a Monday the obligation drops.  However, if you are interested in celebrating that day, there will be      a Mass at 8:00 AM.

The following day, Tuesday, is All Souls’ Day.  An opportunity to pray for our departed family and friends.  There will be a Mass at 8:00 AM and a Prayer Service at 6:30 PM.


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