31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 1st, 2018 ~ St. Monica, Palatka ~ Father Ron
“Stewardship is about loving God and One Another.”
Deuteronomy 6:2-6 ~ Moses spoke to the people, “Fear the Lord, your God, and keep all his commandments.
Psalm 18 ~ I love you Beloved, my strength.
Hebrews 7:23-28 ~ Jesus lives forever to make intercessions for us.
Gospel Mark 12:28-34 ~ “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, ‘God is One and there is no other than God.’ And ‘to love God with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself’ is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
How do I love God with all of my heart, with all of my understanding, and with all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself?
Let’s take the first. How do I love God with all my heart? To be honest, I most likely don’t love God with all my heart. The heart is about emotions. Like when I was a child being weaned from the bottle, I sometimes wanted the bottle more than the approval of my parents, never mind love. How do we behave/react when we are challenged by our parents to put down the video game to do a chore or come to the dinner table? I don’t think our response is loving to our parents, never mind God. What about being interrupted by a child during a fantastic football game or television show? Is that considered loving with all our hearts? We don’t mean to be unloving, but we need to recognize that it is hypocritical to defend it as love.
Let’s take a look at our understanding of God and neighbor. How much information or tweets or news do we need before we label someone as being to the right or to the left? Do we harbor in our hidden thoughts our disdain or inferiority? How many labels have we placed on people this week when they don’t agree with our opinions? How many times is “Mom” called “Mean Mommy” because she simply disciplined us for our own good? How many times has a “Father” called his child “Mr. Lazy” because he didn’t play a sport as well as he did as a teenager? Whenever we label people we prove to God that we do not understand. You see, Jesus clearly instructs us to never judge unless we would like to be judged, never condemn unless we want to be condemned. Give of our first fruits only. Never give our leftovers. (The law simply said that we only have to give 10% to God and the poor. We get to keep 90%). If we do not understand that God gives us everything including our breath, 10%, citizenship and freedoms… we don’t understand God. Did you realize that when we come to church on Sunday (and Saturday vigil is Sunday) we give our first fruits of the week?
God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit.
One gift is “understanding”.
One gift is Strength or Courage.
What do you think?
Love is about Wisdom. Love is about Wonder and Awe. Love is about Counseling others about God’s infinite love and mercy for every breathing person. Love is about Reverence and respect. Do we share these gifts with others outside our family? Do we understanding that everyone, even our enemies, is our neighbor?
The remedy for our lack of love… is the LOVE of GOD with the spice of MERCY. We are children of God. What we shall become has not yet been revealed. I saw a little child at the Boo on the Avenue parade. I asked her parents, “Is you’re your little pumpkin?” The parents smiled and said, “O yes Father, she is the best little pumpkin in the world!” God might even be calling you his little “Pumpkin”.
Now that is a real 100% slice of pumpkin spice Good News!