November 4, 2018 — Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
DT 6:2-6; PS 18; 2-4, 47,51; HEB 7: 23-28; MK 12: 28B-34
Today’s Gospel presents Jesus’ teachings on the two greatest commandments. Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And, love your neighbor as yourself.
Let’s consider these “greatest commandments” as they relate to three aspects of a Christian steward’s daily life — the giving of our time, talent and treasure.
The use of time refers primarily to our relationship with the Lord — in other words, our prayer life. Since time is a gift to me from God, I show my love for Him and my gratitude for this gift by giving Him the best portion of my time. Of course it is vital to talk to God throughout the day, but if I really want to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, shouldn’t I make time for God “first” on my agenda each day? Not as an afterthought, but as a time I have intentionally chosen to spend only with Him.
The use of talents refers to the way I offer the abilities, skills, and interests the Lord has given me for the good of those around me. Doing so is a practical way to “love my neighbor as myself.” At the same time it is also a way to love the Lord with all that I am and have, since He has told us that whatever we do for others we are also doing for Him.
The use material gifts — or treasure — likewise demonstrates both love of God and of neighbor. When I trustingly offer a sacrificial gift to God through the offertory collection I am showing Him in a very tangible way that He comes before all else in my life and I am putting my material resources at the service of my neighbor in the parish community and beyond.
When we live for God and others, we are living a stewardship way of life. And like the wise scribe in today’s Gospel, we are moving closer to the kingdom of God, our ultimate destination.