THIRTY – FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Words For Reflection!

Today the readings invite us to place our love of God before all else in our lives. Already in the Old Testament, the prophets and many of the writers recognized that God must come first. When God is first, our lives become ordered and work well
 
The first reading is from the Book of Deuteronomy and speaks clearly: “ Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.
”We are perhaps so used to these words that they have become meaningless to us. We need to listen to them again and let them touch the depths of our hearts. These words need to be written in our hearts and lived in our lives.This God who has come in time and history to save us is asking us for our whole lives.
 
Today many people no longer believe that God exists or that God has spoken. We are invited to make a choice in our lives: either God exists and we must serve Him or God does not exist and we should reject the craziness of the teachings about God. Instead, many of us won’t make a clear choice. We will stay in doubt but not choose. We want to believe but are frightened of believing and find it easier not to believe. The readings today call us to a choice.
 
The second reading today comes from the Letter to the Hebrews. This letter is always speaking about Jesus as the High Priest. Many of us are not so familiar with this image of a High Priest, which comes from the Jewish faith. The High Priest is an important figure because it is the High Priest who makes sacrifices. The author of this letter wants us to understand that the High Priests of the Jewish people always changed because they died.
 
Instead of that kind of High Priest, we have Jesus, who never dies: “ Jesus, because he remains forever, has a priesthood that does not pass away. Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them.
It was fitting that we should have such a high priest.
 
Reflections by Abbot Phillip
Christ in the Desert Monastery