Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The expert of the law in today’s Gospel interrogates Jesus in order to trap him. But I can pose the same question to him in order to listen to his personal response to me. He is the last word on what is important in my daily life, on how I should act. I must listen with confidence to what he says. And what does he say?

He says to be an authentic Christian means to love God. That is the essence of my prayer, to tell him in complete simplicity that I love him, not only in word, but in deed. That attitude leads directly to the love of my “neighbor”, which is not a vague concept, but a flesh-and-blood person, particularly those near me. The Eucharist is the source of that love – and the assembled community at the Mass I attend each Sunday reinforces that bond.

This Sunday, as I attend Mass, I’ll take special notice of the young people and teenagers about me – few as they are – guys dressed in cut-offs; girls in blouses ready to explode. These are those that Pope Francis challenged at last year’s World Youth Day to “swim against the tide”. So I pray in gratitude for their presence at Mass, while wishing that Jane Austin could design their Sunday ware. I pray that our youth recognize what the tide is they are asked to swim against, where it threatens to take them and that the Lord give them the know-how and the power to do fast laps – fast.

October 26th, 2014