Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Lectionary: 152B
Read: Mark 12:28b-34

Gospel Summary
In today’s Gospel, the first part of Jesus’ response to the scribe is taken from Deuteronomy 6:4-5. It is also the first part of the Shema, a very important section of the Torah that is recited by Jews in the morning and at night. This prayer is part of what is often written on pieces of parchment and placed in mezuzahs—or special containers—to be hung on the doorposts in the rooms in Jewish homes.

Reflection for Parents
Take some time to reflect on the first part of Jesus’ response to the scribe. Consider whether you have put any other gods before the one true God—what people, things, attitudes, and behaviors are getting in the way of your relationship with God? What do you need to do in order to truly love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?

Bringing the Good News Into Your Family
Work together to create a special container similar to a mezuzah. Decorate your container with crayons, markers, stickers, and embellishments that express faith and love. Invite each family member to choose a message from today’s Gospel such as, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone!” or “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart” or “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Ask family members to write or draw their choices on parchment paper or on drawing paper. Have them place their messages in the special container. Place the container near the door your family most often uses. Explain that the container should encourage them to honor the Scripture passage they have written or drawn.

Discussion Starters

  1. “The Lord our God is Lord alone!” means . . .
  2. One way I can love God more is . . .
  3. “Love your neighbor as yourself” means . . .
  4. One way I love myself is . . .