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31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – Homily

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Deuteronomy 6:2-6
Psalm 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51 (2)
Hebrews 7:23-28
Mark 12:28-34
November 4, 2018

God is love!

God loves us.  We see this in Jesus, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).  God’s love for us has no limits.

In return we are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, mind, and strength.  We are called to love God with our whole being.  As part of this we are called to love what God has created.  That means loving our neighbor for all people are God’s creation.

God loves us at the moment when we are conceived in our mother’s womb and for eternity.  It is our choice to respond in love.  This weekend we have who seek God’s love in a new way in their lives.  At both our 4:30 and 10:30 Masses we have young children we are baptizing.  At our 8:15 Mass we have four people who have begun our RCIA process to receive their sacraments at the Easter Vigil.

At baptism we asked six questions.  The first three ask if we “reject Satan” and “his empty promises.”  Then we are asked if we believe in God the Father as our creator.  Do we believe in Jesus his Son who was crucified for us?  Do we believe in the Holy Spirit?

When we hear these questions we respond “I do” but how much do you think about what it means to say I do?  Are there ways in which we fail to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength?  Do we always love our neighbor?

Let’s face it.  It is not easy to love at this level.  Sometimes I wonder if we even know what it means to “love”?

Is “love” a noun or a verb?

As a noun we can think of the love that God gives us.  We can think of the love that we share with each other.

Then, is love just a thing?

No, if we have love, then we are going to love not just in saying we love but to show our love in our actions.  In this sense, love is a verb.  Love is something we do.

Love means caring about people.  We see God’s love in giving his Son Jesus for us.  God also loves us in giving us commandments.  God does not give us commandments to get us to do things for him.  God gives us commandments that are good for us, that will lead us to have a “long life” and to “grow and prosper.”

God’s commandments are good for us.  Are we willing to listen?  Do we strive to follow them, knowing we can trust in God’s perfect love?

The first three of the Ten Commandments point us to know what it means to love God, to have no other gods and to keep the Sabbath holy.  The remaining seven Commandments point us to know what it means to love our neighbor.  If we love our neighbor, we respect what they have to say.  We do not steal from them or look at them as objects of lust.  We don’t kill or hurt them.  We do not covet their property or family.

God loves us.  Knowing this we need let go of trying to be our own saviors in this material world and recognize God as the source of true strength and to make him our rock and fortress knowing that He is our deliverer.

 

 

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