Reflection for the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time (B) - November 4, 2018
Our college educations have taught us well how to ask tough questions, how to do careful analysis, and how to engage in dialogue. The pursuit of truth makes all of us better able to respond to injustice, understand the world around us, and enter into life-giving relationships. The more questions we ask of others, the more we get to know them as human beings made in God’s image. The more we question our physical and social environments, the more we discover how we fit into God’s creation and how we are to build up the kingdom on earth. Christians pose questions from a perspective of faith rooted in hope that answers will open doors of opportunity so that more voices can be heard and the dignity of all people can be upheld. While we have been trained never to cease questioning, do we equally recognize the need to step back and be silent? When the truth confronts us, are we able to name it and then stand in awe? Do we allow ourselves simply to be overcome by the beauty of the truth that surrounds us? In this weekend’s Gospel, a scribe comes to Jesus with a question about the most essential law. Jesus responds with the command to love God and love our neighbor. At his word, not a single person dared to ask another question. May we too be moved to silence our minds and hearts in adoration when meeting Jesus, listening to him who is the Truth.
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the command-ments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command-ment greater than these.” The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, ‘He is One and there is no other than he.’ And ‘to love him with all your heart, with all your under-standing, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself’ is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Come, you thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker does provide for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.
Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring the final harvest home;
gather all your people in, free from sorrow, free from sin.
There, forever purified, in your presence to abide;
come, with all your angels, come, raise the glorious harvest home.