From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
October 31 – Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus provides us with clarity this week as the scribes try to trip him up. Which commandment is the greatest, they want to know? Realize that we are not just talking the first out of ten. No, there were 613 laws which Moses gave in the Torah. But Jesus did not focus on the 613 or the details of them. Rather, he went right to the source of all law, God himself. God, the source of all freedom and salvation, the source of redemption, and the perfection of love itself. There is but one true love – and that is God himself! We are to love God with all our being. Our focus is to be on God alone, for His love for us commands nothing less. And our love of Him – when true and complete – cannot help but bring us to love of our neighbor as ourselves. For when we are truly focused on God alone, we cannot help but recognize God in our neighbor.
God’s love is a love of self-sacrifice, mercy and compassion. This is evidenced by the very gift of his son Jesus given to us out of pure love. Our second reading reminds us of his perfect sacrifice on the cross and his ever present mercy that is “given to all who approach God through him as he lives forever to make intercession for us.”
As Vincentians, we are called to extend this same love to the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalized that we encounter in our ministry. It is through our ministry that we come to know that it is in the Lord that we find our strength. Only through Him are we able to set aside our judgements and our pride to step forward in complete humility seeking to serve others sacrificially. It is here that we find the immensity of His compassion and mercy. We give to others as God has given to us! How do I seek God’s mercy for those I minister to as well as for myself? How have my eyes opened to His unending love for all of us? Is my focus completely on His love for us and my love for Him?
Lord Jesus, open my eyes to your love for me. Give me the humility to seek only your love and your will. Help me to reflect that love in all that I do. Let me love you with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength. And let me love my neighbor as myself. We pray all of this in your name. Amen