31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Theme : “Living in Christ: Keeping The Commandment”

Homily by Fr. Jun Penalosa

First Reading: Deuteronomy 6: 1-9

Second Reading: Hebrews 9: 11-14

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 119: 1-8

Gospel Reading: Mark 12: 28-34



What is the first and greatest commandment of God?

This is a question that we Christians have known or memorized the answer for a long time already…”To love God, with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our strength.”

But today, + Father Jun delved into the other sides of this commandment and reflected on the character and attitude we should have in keeping God’s commandment. He started his homily on sharing a story about a man who was invited to a pandemic wedding party, where that man needed to follow rules and protocols in order to enter the reception area. He relates this to our Christian life today where we need to study the Bible and be bombarded with so many laws.

He further recalled his early days in the new church in Antique where he happened to be in a church where a list of things that are not allowed were posted outside. The pastor then asked him about the list of things that were not allowed in our church. He then asked Primate Dick, then Pastor Dick, if we had such a list, to which he responded, “Isa lang bawal sa atin. Bawal magkasala sa Diyos.” Do not sin against God.

It sounded like a simple rule to him, but later on he realized the weight of its meaning.

The scribe asked Jesus, “What is the first commandment?” “Hear oh Israel the Lord our God, the Lord is God. And you shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like it; you shall love your neighbour as yourself.” (Mark 12: 29-31)

The number one and primary commandment of God is that, but it has three (3) components. Like a 20peso coin who has actually three sides, we, children of God need to understand first the components of the commandment of God if we are about to follow and obey Him;

  1. Hear or Listen. As children of God, understand that our relationship with Him is not about what we believe; relationship is about how we love and how we listen. And the commandment of God is all about Him wanting or desiring to have a relationship with us. He also means that in our life, there is no one else who can love you the way God love us.
  2. Love God. Since He loves us unconditionally, it is our turn also to love Him with all of what we have. The more we listen to Him, the more He shows His love, and the more we understand Him. Only in God alone can we can find our forever.
  3. Love your neighbour as you love yourself. If you know that God loves you, and you love God, then you love yourself the way God loves you; then that is how you will love your neighbour. You cannot love God without loving your neighbour. It is impossible; and if you cannot love your neighbour whom you can see, then how you can love God whom you have not seen. The only way you can love the person in whom he is, is when you love God also.

And these are the important things we should remember in our relationship with God; to love and listen to Him. J

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