This weekend we celebrate the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time. In the Gospel passage, a scribe asks Jesus, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” We know well the answer Jesus gives: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is God 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.” And Jesus goes on: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus quotes, first, the Book of Deuteronomy, and then the Book of Leviticus. The text from Deuteronomy is the shema, which devout Jews pray twice daily. Jesus would have done so. The text from Leviticus sums up all the laws within it regarding how to treat one’s neighbor. Jesus tells the scribe, “There is no other commandment greater than these.” Jesus is the first “rabbi/teacher” of his time to combine the commandments in such a way that one cannot separate love of God from love of one’s neighbor. The scribe who knows all the laws in the Torah understands why Jesus answers in the manner he does. He “gets it” and lets Jesus know it makes sense to him. The same is true of Christianity: all the laws are summed up in love of God and love of neighbor (as oneself). It takes some of us a long time to “get it.” Eventually we realize that love of God is more than saying our prayers, attending Mass, reading the bible, keeping the ten commandments. When we discover the simple truth and essence of what God expects of us, we begin to look at the relationship with God and between God and our neighbors, that is, everyone, in a new light, and treat them accordingly.
Please join us for our annual Remembrance of the Dead Liturgy which will take place this Tuesday at 6:30 PM. Each year we remember our parishioners who have died since last November. Their names will be listed in the bulletin each week of November and a candle at the Baptismal font will be lit at each liturgy we celebrate this month in memory of each of them. Please remember to pray for all of our beloved dead throughout the month of November.
The Harvest “Thanksgiving” Potluck Dinner” is this Saturday, November 10. Sign-up sheets have been posted on the church bulletin boards. If you were unable to sign up in church and plan on attending, please call the Parish Office by Tuesday at Noon (755-0828).
Thank you for all who helped out in any way to make the Fall Craft and Bazaar a successful experience. I especially want to thank Natalie and Alex for chairing this year’s event and for all their work behind the scenes along with the other staff members who helped. Please make sure you read the thank you note from Natalie and Alex in today’s bulletin.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ