Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 31, 2021
“Get your priorities straight!” When someone says that I hear the voice of my father from when I was little—maybe not in those words, but telling me to concentrate on what was important. These days with “lots on my plate” to do each day, I need to prioritize. I find myself so easily distracted by things that I like to do, or things that don’t involve conflict or pain!
That’s the message from today’s Scriptures. Jesus, drawing on the Old Testament where Moses calls the people to love God totally, gives us the priorities of the Kingdom: Love of God and love of neighbor. That’s Christ’s answer to the scribe who wants to know what the first of all the commandments is. Jesus quotes a text which was used as a daily prayer by faithful Jews: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is Lord alone!” Then Jesus goes on to add the love of neighbor as ourself—something that flows naturally from love of God.
In these days when so many other things distract us calling for our time and energy, we need these Christian priorities. Whether it’s within the parish, or in our family life, or beyond—in our world if we focus on God first, then on loving others because of our relationship with God—we’ll have our priorities straight. And then we can properly evaluate everything else.