31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
The Lord our God is the one Lord
Almighty and merciful God,
by whose gift your faithful offer you right and praiseworthy service,
grant, we pray, that we may hasten without stumbling to receive the things you have promised.
Our readings this week remind us that the love of God and of our neighbour is the foundation and the rock of our faith and life.
The text from Deuteronomy (First Reading) is the famous Shema Yisrael prayer, beloved by Judaism and used every morning and evening. Israel keeps the law of God because she loves God with her whole soul.
In the Gospel, Jesus uses the same text to answer the scribe’s question as to which is the greatest commandment. However, Jesus takes it further by adding a second commandment, to love one’s neighbour. These two commandments are inseparable.
The few verses of Psalm 17 (18) in our Responsorial Psalm are a song of love and praise to our God. The Psalm is a prayer of thanksgiving to the God who has done so much for us and continues to do so.
St Paul, in the Second Reading, represents Christ as the ideal High Priest of the New Covenant. He unceasingly intercedes for us with the Father.
This week, may the command to love God with all that we are and in all that we do find expression in our awareness of all whom we meet.