The two greatest commandments.

Sunday, October 31st 2021 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin

The Gospel on the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time presents Jesus’ teachings on the two  greatest commandments: Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5), and love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18). 

Let’s consider these “greatest commandments” as they relate to three aspects of the  Christian’s daily life — how do we give of our time, talent, and treasure (material  resources) to God, his Church, and our neighbor? 

The use of time refers primarily to our relationship with the Lord — in other words, our  prayer life. It is vital to talk to God throughout the day, but if I really want to love Him  with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, shouldn’t I make time for God “first” on my  agenda each day? Not as an afterthought, but as a time I have intentionally chosen to  spend only with Him. 

The use of talents refers to the way I offer the abilities, skills, and interests the Lord  has given me for the good of those around me. Doing so is a practical way to “love my  neighbor as myself.” At the same time, it is also a way to love the Lord with all that I  am and have, since He has told us that whatever we do for others we are also doing for  Him. 

The use of material gifts — or treasure — likewise demonstrates both love of God and  of neighbor. When I trustingly offer a sacrificial gift to God through the offertory  collection, I am showing Him in a very tangible way that He comes before all else in my  life and I am putting my material resources at the service of my neighbor in the parish  community and beyond. 

When we live for God and others, we are living a committed Christian life. And like the  wise scribe in today’s Gospel, we are moving closer to the kingdom of God, our ultimate  destination. 

This weekend we begin distributing a report of our parish finances over the last year in the Annual Ministerial and Financial Report, available at the doors of the Church as well  as at the parish office for all who would like to review it. You will also see a quarterly  financial update in the parish bulletin next weekend.