One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
What is asked of us is simple – to love God and our neighbour. But our love also extends to our common home, as all eyes are on Glasgow, where the UN Climate Change Conference begins in Glasgow this Sunday — that Planet Earth may be spared from destruction.
Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. Just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.”
This year’s Mission Sunday theme suggests that “We cannot remain silent”. Those were the brave words of St Peter and St John in the Acts of the Apostles, when even in the face of persecution, they insisted: “We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). We pray to have their courage in our country, today.
In this Sunday’s Mass, we come to God, who gives the blind new sight.
Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next ear, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”
We are called to serve as Christ served, but when that proves hard for us, we approach the throne of grace for mercy and assistance, knowing that God is on our side, encouraging us onwards.
Jesus called his disciples and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man has come not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”