Deuteronomy’s admonition (6:2-6) to be single-hearted and single-minded in purpose has endured throughout countless generations since Moses first uttered them. This admonition is called the “Shema.” Such was their impact upon the devout that the words were etched upon jewelry worn on the foreheads and over the heart of the Palestinian Jew in a symbolic gesture of how one is meant to embody them. Of course, we also know that those less than devout also wear these reminders and we also know that a piece of jewelry does not a disciple make!
Jesus, fully aware of the importance of these words for the practicality of religious life, repeats the words of Moses in a conversation with a Scribe (Mark 12:28-34) and further enhances them with a single-hearted approach to love of neighbor and self. True love is tri-fold, of God, of neighbor and of self. Such love is rooted in the Kingdom!
Lord our God, you are the One God, and there is no other. Give us grace to hear and heed the great commandment of your Kingdom, that we may love you with all our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves.
On Saturday, many of the second graders of our parish will celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the very first time. I would ask you to hold them and their families in your hearts and your prayers in the coming week.
Just to repeat an announcement from last week, we had originally foreseen the return of the 5pm Mass on Sunday evenings as beginning on the first weekend of November, but since the winter residents are slowly returning and the other Masses are not yet crowded, we will delay this until the first weekend in December, the First Sunday of Advent.
May the week ahead be filled with every grace and blessing!