Thursday, June 2, 2016

"We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing.”

Gospel Text: (MK 12:28-34)
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Love, quite obviously, is the common denominator between these two commands: “Love the Lord completely,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Understanding these two as one means having Christ at the center of our entire spiritual focus: seeing in Christ our neighbor, and seeing in Christ our Lord and God. So we are to love others as Christ has loved us.

But we must even go one step further. We are to love others so that others will love as Christ has loved us. Not merely are we to give our lives for others. We are so to have an effect on others that they in turn will do the same. But how is this possible? We cannot control the decisions of others. Even if we love them they may hate us in turn. God’s grace makes all things possible.

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