Lord, always increase the dose of my love.

31st Sunday of the Year - B

Dt. 6: 2-6; Psalm 17; Heb. 7: 23-28; Mark 12: 28-34

Read: One of the scribes came up to Jesus and asked him: “Which is the first of all the commandments?”. Jesus answered: “This is the first, listen Israel! The Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second one is this: you must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” The scribe said to him: “Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true; that he is one God and there is no other. Yes, to love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.” Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said: “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to question him anymore.

Reflect: The reply given by Jesus to the scribe is the prayer mostly recited by the people of Israel: “Listen Israel! The lord, our God, is one Lord, and you should love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, with your whole soul and with all your entire strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:4) To this Jesus added that you should love God “with all your mind” also.  This, because whoever is incapable of evidencing his faith, cannot say that he loves God. Then Jesus added a second commandment: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Book of Leviticus 19:18)

Could there be a danger that someone could seriously love another person without loving God? This possibility is so remote that the Bible did not even consider it. If one loves another person, he will surely be induced by the spirit to do so, because true love emanates from God. (John 4:7) Can there be anyone who loves God and not his neighbour? Not even this is possible, because both commandments cannot be separated, because these are a manifestation of one love. (John 4:20) And who is your neighbour? Jesus makes this clear. Your neighbour is whoever finds himself in need, whether he is a friend or an enemy. (Matthew 5: 43-48)

Pray: You, Lord, my Lord and God, and my brethren, like myself your living creations, fill me with the utmost respect towards you and them. Always increase the dose of my love.

Act: Think and show in practice that you obey these two commandments. What are the implications of this? How can you completely love God? How can you love your neighbour as yourself?

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