Home Community Sunday Gospel Thoughts October 31, 2021, 31st Ordinary Sunday

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  • #2202
    Phrogge
    Keymaster

    Gospel Mk 12:28b-34
    One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
    “Which is the first of all the commandments?”
    Jesus replied, “The first is this:
    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 is no other commandment greater than these.”
    The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
    You are right in saying,
    ‘He is One and there is no other than he.’
    And ‘to love him with all your heart,
    with all your understanding,
    with all your strength,
    and to love your neighbor as yourself’
    is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
    And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
    he said to him,
    “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
    And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

    • This topic was modified 1 month ago by Phrogge.
    #2204
    Phrogge
    Keymaster

    Most of us would like to think of ourselves as doing decent job of loving God. But when it comes to living our neighbor as ourselves, we might admit that we are not doing so well. We might think of our neighbor as folks who agree with us, think like us, live as we think they should. It’s easy to love them. Others who don’t fit our ideals, however, not so much. I know that’s how it is with me.

    I just finished a book, “Caste”, by Isabel Wilkerson. It will annoy many people, probably along political lines, but I found it very insightful with much food for thought. I’m very glad I read it. Lots of food for thought as I look at this Gospel.

    #2239
    Phrogge
    Keymaster

    This is one of those scripture phrases that we just like to think nice thoughts about. I might admit that I am not loving my neighbor all that well. It is also one of the scripture phrases that reminds I how taking Jesus at his word is a shock, because what he is saying is about me. I am not doing well at what he is yet again telling me to do. Also, I am coming more to sense that loving my neighbor is not about nice feelings, overlooking perceived or even real offenses, putting on an act that is “nice” to folks I don’t like. Looking at how Jesus lived shows me that, among other things, he tackled whatever was making people hurt, eg temple religious system laws, roman civil system, something referred to today as corporate sin.

    Jesus’ words are addressed to me about how I am called to live, not how I am to expect others to live so my life will be more convenient and comfortable. There is so much finger pointing, accusing, and blaming going on today. It is a lot easer to do that than it is to let the Spirit show me how I am part of whatever problem I am accusing others of causing. One of the first things I learned in the Army was from a very highly decorated priest who told me, “Don’t spend your time and energy condemning what is bad, use it to promote what is good, and the bad will take care of itself. If I focus on the bad, I feel I don’t have to face my involvement in whatever it is I am upset about. When I don’t like the finger pointing and polarization that is all around me in our country and in the church, how am I involved in being part of it, and what is the Spirit calling me to do next. It’s easier to blame than to accept my responsibility and act.

    I want to keep doing my best to be open to the Spirit in everything, and have the courage to look at myself and do whatever the Spirit is moving me to do.

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