October 31, 2021

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

God loves you. This one short sentence, consisting of only three words, is such a profound truth. It’s a message that not only needs to be heard but felt within the depth of our being. It’s not simply a matter of “believing” God loves us, as important as that is. Instead, it’s the movement from intellectual acceptance to a lived reality: To live each day in the joy, peace, and security of God’s love.

This is a journey that many of us are still on. Although we have come a long way from the once commonplace notion that we are “sinners in the hands of an angry God” articulated by Jonathan Edwards, we still may not fully accept and feel God’s love for us. We may feel we have to earn God’s love, or prove ourselves worthy of God’s love, or worry that God’s love can be lost. Not only may it be difficult for us to accept that God’s love is a complete gift, but we may also have difficulty getting to the place where we can simply and peacefully “abide” in God’s love. God wants this for us but also knows it’s a journey, and it takes time.

Today, our psalm and gospel reading speak eloquently of loving God, and they hold up the preeminent value of loving God above all things. What might be helpful to remember in this context is that God loved us first. In fact, God’s love brought us into being, and God’s love sustains us even now. The readings then are about loving God in return. It’s not something done out of obligation, it’s a stirring of the heart, and it grows in the context of a relationship. So, attend to that relationship, and you’ll notice how God lovingly attends to you.

Let Us Pray:

Gracious God, thank you for the gift of your love. Send your Spirit to help me see others as you see them, that I may love as you love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About John Christman, SSS