October 31, 2021
XXXI Sunday in Ordinary Time
The primacy of love is generated by listening, since the word of God reveals his love for us and nourishes our capacity to love.
Listen, Israel: in the first reading we hear the Shema, Israel’s fundamental profession of faith, which Jesus quotes in answering a scribe’s question about the first of all the commandments. Faith is born from listening and is fulfilled in love. Israel knows this and Jesus reaffirms this. Listening is the first imperative for human life, from which every other need follows and is made possible. The primacy of love itself is based on the primacy of listening: our love is a response to God’s gratuitous love for us, which always precedes us. There is a circularity between the commandment and love. At the heart of every commandment there is love, but also at the heart of love there is a commandment: there is the word of God. Love is not only a spontaneous movement of the heart, it is obedience to a Word, comes from listening. The scribe who had questioned him shares the answer of Jesus, who in turn declares to him: “You are not far from the kingdom of God”. What is still missing? What the rich young man also lacks: the relationship with Jesus. In fact, the letter to the Hebrews tells us, God made the Son a priest making him perfect forever. The perfection of his mediation also consists in this: in bringing to fullness our possibility of loving according to truth. According to the logic of the Kingdom and its proximity.
Commentary by Comunità di Dumenza
Translation by f. Mark Hargreaves, Prinknash Abbey