Catholic homily for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Theme: “YOU ARE NOT FAR FROM THE KINGDOM OF GOD”
By: Fr. Cajetan Anyanwu
Homily for Sunday October 31 2021
This is the 31st Sunday in ordinary time. In the Old Testament, God made a covenant with Israel. The people continuously failed to keep the terms of the covenant. Yet, God fulfilled his promises and continued sending prophets to preach to the people. Moses, drew the people’s attention to their failure in observing the commandments of God who is one and the same always. He exhorted them to remain faithful to God (Deut. 6:2-6). The faithfulness of God challenges us today to reflect on our attitude towards loving one another. Like Israel of old, most of us today have also failed. To Love has lost its meaning and relevance.
God’s love emphasizes equal treatment to all humanity. It gives freedom, liberty, justice and peace. Unfortunately, the leaders of Israel during the time of Jesus used the law to oppress others. They protected their own interests and advanced the welfare of their families and associates. For this reason, Jesus reprimanded them and drew their attention to what the law stood for. One of the scribes approached him with a question. “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…” “The second is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mk. 12:28-34).
The greatest commandment is “LOVE.” Love of God and neighbor. Our love for one another should be equal. There is nothing like half-love or secondary love or class love. The law of God is neither oppressive nor suppressive. The law of God was given not to oppress us but to strengthen us in his love. The love of neighbor made Jesus to sacrifice himself for us as our high priest (Heb. 7:23-28). Love does not look down on people. When the scribe noted that the answer Jesus gave him was correct, he acknowledged him. Jesus looked at him with love and said, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” The Lord will say the same to you if you accept the truth and put it into practice. Love God and your neighbor today, and make the world a better place. Happy Sunday.
Fr. Cajetan Anyanwu