Every Jewish person would know the answer to the question that the scribes asked Jesus in today’s Gospel from St. Mark. They had reminders of the importance of the commandments every day; they prayed it every day; they taught it to their children every day. It was so important to them that repeating it reinforced its importance. We too know how important is love of God, love of neighbor and love of self. This is a lifelong task, but a loving one because God is good and we are all created in God’s image and likeness.

It takes us a while to understand God and it takes even longer to understand ourselves and our relationships with our neighbors. We want to have a strong love for God. It is not that easy when it comes to human beings, but the challenge is there. One fact that is important and helpful to us is that we cannot love every person the same – we are closer to some people than to others and it is easier to love some individuals than others. As we struggle to fulfill this commandment, Jesus says, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

This Monday, November 5, I will be departing on our annual pilgrimage with 44 people. We will fly to London and then on to Warsaw, Poland. We will also visit Czestochowa, Wadowice, Krakow, and Auschwitz. We then travel to Budapest, Hungary and then Vienna, and finally Prague. I will particularly enjoy Austria and the Czech Republic where my mother’s parents came from. This will be my first time in Poland. Please pray for a safe pilgrim- age for us!

Tuesday, November 6: Don’t forget to vote! I already cast my absentee ballot. It is a privilege and a duty for each us.

– Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.