⏰Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

📕Deut 6:2-6; Psalm 18:2-3a, 3bc-4, 47 and 51ab (R.v.2); Heb 7:23-28; Mark 12:28-34

There is this story that was told of St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. It was said that she was preaching Christ to someone and the man asked her, “Mother, does this Jesus look like you?” She replied that she was only struggling to be like him. Instantly, the man accepted Christ. That was because Mother Teresa was able to make great impact on the people through love. She said, “I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself, ‘this is hungry Jesus, I must feed him; this is sick Jesus… I serve because I love Jesus.”

The central message of today’s liturgy must have been the motivation of Mother Teresa. In the gospel Jesus summarized the whole commandment into one – love! However, this love is doublefold, an inseparable twin – the love of God and love of neighbour. The evangelist John tells us that it is impossible to embrace one, leaving the other (cf. 1 John 4:20). The problem that we have with religion today is the obvious separation of the two. We want to love God but are ever ready to hate others even in the process of loving him.

Can you imagine! In a family, the eldest son was doing well and is capable of training the younger siblings in school. But he gave them a condition that they must be born again before he trains them. What did he mean with “born again”? He meant that they must change from their Church to his. The pathetic thing is that those who refused to change were not trained by him. That is a crisis of faith. It is against what Jesus prescribes in the parable of the good Samaritan (cf. Luke 10:25-37).

So we are challenged today to grow to that point when all that controls our thoughts and actions is the perfect love of God, which manifests in the love of neighbour. When we are controlled by that love, everything else becomes secondary. As St. Augustine would say, “Love God, and do what you like.” Yes, that is because if you love God, you will not do anything evil; neither against him nor against others.

Therefore, to be perfect like Jesus, as the second reading presents him, we must be and live in love. And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us, both now and for ever. Amen.

Have a lovely and blessed Sunday. Celebrate today by showing love to someone. Peace be with you.

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