November 4 - Thirty First Sunday in Ordinary Time: What are your Priorities?

November 1st, 2018

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First Reading Revelation 7:2-4,9-14
John describes his vision: those who have endured the trials worship the Lamb.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 24:1-2,3-4,5-6
Those who seek the face of the Lord shall be rewarded.

 

Second Reading 1 John 3:1-3
We are God's children now.

 

Gospel Reading
Matthew 5:1-12

 

In the Judaism of Jesus' time there were two opposite tendencies. On the one hand there was a tendency to endlessly multiply the commandments and precepts of the law, creating norms and obligations for every minimal detail of life. On the other hand there was the desire to look underneath this suffocating congeries of norms to find those things that really count for God, the spirit of all the commandments. The scribe's question and Jesus' response are situated in this approach to the essentials of the law, in this desire not to get lost in the thousand other secondary precepts. It is precisely this lesson about method that above all we must learn from today's gospel. There are things in life that are important but not urgent (in the sense that nothing will happen if we let them slide); and vice versa, there are things that are urgent but not important. The danger is that we will systematically sacrifice the important things to pursue those that are urgent but often secondary. What are the priorities, in your life? To health, family, friends and character -- we need to add two others, which are the biggest of all, the two greatest commandments: love God and your neighbour.