October 31. Sunday. 31B.  Fr Peter started his homily by saying, “I’m intrigued.  In the gospel usually Jesus is the one who preaches and teaches, but at times others have the chance to dialogue with him and say their bit too.  In everyday life, of course we talk to God all the time and often even try to tell him what to do. Isn’t that our way of praying?” He paused before continuing,  “But then as our faith develops does it maybe happen too that there is more of a dialogue, that God approves of what we have to say and celebrates with us.  I think that this day which ends with Halloween, i.e. the eve of All Hallows/Saints and should be a real preview of All Saints Day – it was until the Church moved the feast to the next Sunday.  This surely is an occasion when the Trinity gathers with all the saints to acknowledge that Love is alive and well.  And if you happen to celebrate Halloween please remember that.  And for those who are preparing to vote in our local elections do also remember the words from the gospel of today: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your mind and with all your strength and you shall love your neighbour as yourself. But let me add a few more thoughts on Halloween which you had check out on google. But in brief, it grew out of an ancient Celtic harvest tradition which also included beliefs that the spirits of the dead could come back to haunt them, so people dressed up to hide from evil spirits. The “trick or treat” was added because the poor would go to the rich to beg for food at the start of winter and were given soul cakes. Lighted pumpkins had another tradition of a wicked man who was not allowed into heaven by God or hell by Satan. All he was given was a burning coal. Like many cultural traditions it became Christianised. The Church had instituted a feast of All Saints at some time and this became linked with the Celtic tradition. Some time later the feast of All Souls was added as a day of remembrance for the dead that they may rest in peace. I believe that if families do celebrate this day it is good to understand its background too.”

The scribe said to Jesus, “you are right Teacher, you have truly said that he is one and there is no other but he, and to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength and to love one’s neighbour as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  And Jesus saw he had answered wisely and said, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.  Mark  12:28-34. Pope Francis: Disinterested concern for others and the rejection of every form of self-centredness is essential if we are truly to care for our brothers and sisters and for the natural environment. These attitudes attune us to the moral imperative of assessing the impact of our every action and personal decision on the world around us. LS208.   Reflect, share, act and pray.    Pray especially for a successful outcome to the local government election on 1 November