32nd Sunday of Ordinary time (B)

REMEMBRANCE DAY

Today is Remembrance Day.  This year, we mark the end of the First World War one hundred years ago.  We keep silence with the rest of the nation at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  As we do so, let’s remember and pray for all those who lost their lives in war and armed conflict.

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They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
we will remember them.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.
Amen.

Prayer

Father of all, look with love on all your people, living and departed.

On this day, we pray especially for all who suffered during the First World War – those who were killed and those who returned scarred by warfare, those who waited anxiously at home, and those who returned wounded and disillusioned; those who mourned, and those communities that were diminished and suffered loss.

We remember too those who acted with kindly compassion, those who bravely risked their own lives for their comrades, and those who in the aftermath of war, worked tirelessly for a more peaceful world.

And as we remember them, remember us, O Lord: grant us peace in our time and a longing for the day when people of every language, race and nation will be brought into the unity of Christ’s kingdom.

We ask this through the same Christ our Lord.

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Commitment to Peace

The ‘Peace Prayer’, often attributed to St Francis, was promoted by Pope Benedict XV in January 1916.

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that we may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

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After Mass today, parishioners are invited to a ‘Peace Party’ in St Benedict’s Parish Centre.

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Many thanks to Ruth Ramsay for the photographs.

 


31st Sunday of Ordinary Time (B)

Gospel  (Mark 12: 28-34)

One of the scribes came up to Jesus and put a question to him, ‘Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ The scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true: that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.’ Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to question him any more.

From The Jerusalem Bible © 1966 by Darton Longman & Todd Ltd and Doubleday and Company Ltd.

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Reflection

In replying to the scribe, Jesus quotes the great creed of the Jewish people – the Shema – found in the book of Deuteronomy (6: 4) which is the First Reading given to us today:  “Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

The Shema is at the heart of Jewish daily prayer, just as the ‘Our Father’ is at the heart of Christian prayer. Jewish people recite the Shema twice each day – once in the morning and once in the evening. They are the first words a Jewish person learns to speak and the last words uttered at death.

To this, Jesus adds a second commandment quoting the book of Leviticus (19: 18):  “You must love your neighbour as yourself”.

Jesus teaches us that we love God by loving other people.  This is at the heart of being a Christian.  As the hymn goes, “And they’ll know we’re are Christians by our love.”

Fr Dave

Prayer

Lord our God,
all true love comes from you and leads to you.
You have committed yourself to us
in a covenant of lasting love
in the person of Jesus Christ.
Help us to respond to your love
and to live your commandments,
not as laws forced on us,
but as opportunities to love you
and your people, our brothers and sisters.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Adapted from Bible Claret © 2016 Bibleclaret. All Rights Reserved.