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Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Deuteronomy 6:2­6

Resp.: Psalm 18:2­3, 3­4, 47, 51
2nd Reading: Hebrews 7:23­28
Gospel: Mark 12:28b­34

Today's readings are very easy to understand. We know what we are being told but how do we do it? People tell us to be nice, to be good, or to love. What exactly is meant by this? Does being nice mean that I should be agreeable to everything?

Love is a word that is easily misunderstood. We can love a sports team, pickles, sleeping late and people. We don't mean exactly the same thing with each category. Love is not a feeling but a decision that needs to be reaffirmed. Love is sacrificial in nature because the good of the other is put to the fore. In other words God is love and imitating Jesus is how to love. St Paul says that we can do great things but if those things are done without love, they are worthless.

Loving the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength sums up what our lives should be (about). We just have to ask for the grace to try and try again. This also goes for loving our neighbor as ourselves. The one person we tend to forget to love is ourselves. Sometimes this can be done out of a false humility. Loving ourselves does not mean pampering ourselves or to "watch out for number one." Being a balanced person is not easy, but it is possible through grace.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD

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