Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B




Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 152

1st Reading – DT 6:2-6

Moses spoke to the people, saying:
“Fear the LORD, your God,
and keep, throughout the days of your lives,
all his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you,
and thus have long life.
Hear then, Israel, and be careful to observe them,
that you may grow and prosper the more,
in keeping with the promise of the LORD, the God of your fathers,
to give you a land flowing with milk and honey.

“Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone!
Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God,
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your strength.
Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today.”

Responsorial Psalm – PS 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51

R. (2) I love you, Lord, my strength.
I love you, O LORD, my strength,
O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.
My God, my rock of refuge,
my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
and I am safe from my enemies.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.
The LORD lives! And blessed be my rock!
Extolled be God my savior.
You who gave great victories to your king
and showed kindness to your anointed.
R. I love you, Lord, my strength.

2nd Reading – HEB 7:23-28

Brothers and sisters:
The levitical priests were many
because they were prevented by death from remaining in office,
but Jesus, because he remains forever,
has a priesthood that does not pass away.
Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him,
since he lives forever to make intercession for them.

It was fitting that we should have such a high priest:
holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners,
higher than the heavens.
He has no need, as did the high priests,
to offer sacrifice day after day,
first for his own sins and then for those of the people;
he did that once for all when he offered himself.
For the law appoints men subject to weakness to be high priests,
but the word of the oath, which was taken after the law,
appoints a son,
who has been made perfect forever.

Alleluia – JN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord;
and my father will love him and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

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.

Catholic Daily Reflections

Catholic Audio Gospel Reflections

Love of God and Neighbor

Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop

“The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

The first and greatest Commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. But Jesus goes on to give us the second most important Commandment. “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

First of all, it’s important to point out that loving God with all your might is the greatest Commandment, in part, because unless you do so you cannot also love your neighbor. Love of neighbor hinges on whether you love God with your whole being. Only when you love God can that love overflow into other relationships.

When we look at the love of neighbor as an effect of the overflow of your love of God, this second Commandment takes on a clearer meaning. Jesus doesn’t only say to love your neighbor, He says to do so “as yourself.” So how do you love yourself? You do so primarily by fulfilling the first Commandment of the love of God.

Loving God with your whole self is, in fact, the best way to also love yourself. Why? Because we were made for love and communion with God. Loving God is not some extra favor we do for God; rather, it’s a way of fulfilling the deepest meaning of who we are. We are made for love and we are made for God. Therefore, loving God is the best way to love yourself.

From this starting point, we then move to a better understanding of how we are called to love our neighbor. If the fulfillment of loving yourself is found by loving God and being in an intimate relationship of love with God, then you love your neighbor as yourself by drawing your neighbor into a relationship of love with God also. There is nothing you could do that is more loving for others than to act as a bridge between them and God. And the more directly you act as that bridge, the greater your love for them and the more completely you fulfill this Commandment.

Reflect, today, upon the ways that you act as a bridge of love between God and others. Recognize this as your absolute duty, privilege and honor. Commit yourself to a wholehearted love of God and allow that love to overflow and be poured out upon all those with whom you encounter every day. Love is contagious and it must consume everything you are and everything you do.

Lord, I desire to love You with my whole being. Increase my love for You and allow that love to overflow into every relationship I have in life. May love be the one and only mission of my life. Jesus, I trust in You.

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