Here are some of the key themes in the readings for the 31st Sunday of the Year.
1st Reading – Deuteronomy 6:2-6
- The first part of the reading reminds the people of Israel to follow the precepts of the Lord as they enter into the promised land.
- The second part forms part of Jewish daily prayer: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone!”
- In this second part the love of God (heart, soul and strength) is understood as a total commitment of one’s entire being…all for the Lord.
Psalm – 18:2-4,47,51
- “I love you, Lord, my strength.”
- We acknowledge God’s might and praise his glory.
2nd Reading – Hebrews 7:23-28
- This passage contrasts the Levitical priesthood with that of Jesus.
- The priesthood of Christ is eternal, sinless, always able to save, and his once-for-all sacrifice cleanses us from our sins.
Gospel – Mark 12:28b-34
- When asked which is the first of the commandments, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Leviticus 19:18.
- Thus, loving God and loving neighbor are essential for Christian disciples, woven together in our daily words and actions.