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.