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Vocations Prayer

O God, You have chosen the apostles to make disciples of all nations and by baptism and confirmation have called all of us to build up Your Holy Church.

We earnestly implore You to chose from among us, Your children, many priests, brothers and sisters, who will love You with all their hearts and will gladly spend all their lives to make You known and loved by all. Amen

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St. Luke RC Church

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Which Commandment is the First of All

READINGSLink indicator
First Reading:   Dt 6:2-6
Responsorial Psalm:   Ps 18:2-4, 47, 51
Second Reading:   Heb 7:23-28
Gospel:   Mk 12:28-34

oday we get a clear answer to our long awaited question:  which commandment is the first of all.

Jesus says it very clearly, ""... love your Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." But how do we do it?

This is accomplished by loving our neighbour as we love ourselves. Love is the basic principle we need to follow to keep our lives peaceful.

Today we need to find out who is my God, and who is my neighbour. If we are able find that, we can see where our heart, soul, mind and strength are.

For many of us, God can be someone sitting up in the cloud, or just a supernatural being. For some their god can be their belly, their pleasures, their possessions, power and positions. So let us do a self-examination of our conscience and find out who or what is my God, so we will be able to identify how my love of God is.

If we really love our God, we must love our neighbours, and we will not be able to hate anyone, or talk behind the back of others. We need to find out who our neighbours are? Jesus, by the parable of the Good Samaritan, teaches us who our neighbour is.

Our neighbour can be in our homes, work places, in our community. Do I put conditions to love my neighbour? He has to be my color, my likes me, is my race, and follows my ideology. If I have all these conditions, donít say that we love others. We are a bunch of hypocrites. In these situations, we need to clarify what is love.

Saint Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 13, says it very clearly:  "Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, not pompous, it is not inflated, not rude, does not seek its own interests, it is not quick tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing. But rejoices with truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."

Based on this, can we say we really love our God and our neighbour?

At the same time, it is our experience that we cannot love another person the way they want because we all are limited individuals:  living in this limited world, and each person is unique. In order to enjoy our lives, each one or us should try to, "become love".

A mystic once said, "Love does not happen naturally. We make it to happen. This is the reason why we dress up in certain way, speak in a very sweet way, and try to be very nice to people, because we try to create a situation of love around us, so that love happens. But it should not be for a selfish reason."

Once a nun took food to a starving family. After getting the food, the mother of that family disappeared with the food, and then returned with just half of it. She said, "Our neighbors are hungry too." Can we be this kind of neighbours? Who sees God in their neighbours? May God bless us all, Amen.

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