DAILY MASS, GOSPEL AND COMMENTARY:
“Love God with all your heart…”
Gospel of Thursday, 9th week of Ordinary Time.
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.
God gave us the Ten Commandments to help us discern good from evil and carry out the good. In today’s Gospel, Jesus sums up God’s commandments with the following words:
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
- Like anyone else, God asks us for a love which is total. If we ourselves are not content with a superficial and inconstant love, so is God.
- A love which is total requires loving with one’s ALL, with one’s ENTIRE heart, soul, mind and strength.
- Love for God is also inseparable from love for our neighbor such that this is the thermometer of the authenticity and totality of our love for God, the consequence and the result of our love for God. The latter cannot exist without the former and vice-versa.
- Moreover, this love for our neighbor must be the same love with which we love ourselves. This is the guideline of our love for our neighbor. When we love by this manner, we are “imitators of our Lord” Jesus Christ (cfr. 1 Thes 1:5c–10), who taught us to love others “as I have loved you (Jn: 13:34-35)”.
- Let us ask the help of Our Lady so that like her, we too may have a total and authentic love towards God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, manifested as well in our love for our neighbor.
- “I love you, God, my strength! (Psalm 17)”
Let us end our commentary with the words of Pope Benedict XVI: “In the “Our Father” we ask that his name be hallowed, that his kingdom come, that his will be done. It is first and foremost God’s primacy that we must recover in our world and in our life, because it is this primacy that enables us to discover the truth of what we are, and it is in knowing and following God’s will that we find our own good; giving time and space to God, so that he may be the vital centre of our existence.“
Mother Mary, Mother of Fair Love, help us so that God may be the vital centre of our existence, loving Him with our entire being and our neighbor as ourselves.
VIDEO COMMENTARY ON TODAY’S GOSPEL
TOPIC 1: ARE YOU ABLE TO ATTRACT PEOPLE TO GOD WHILE SERVING HIM?
In today’s gospel reading, a scribe friendly to Jesus – as not all Pharisees and scribes were hostile to Him – asked Him which, among the 613 commandments in the Jewish law, had priority over the others. And Jesus promptly points out and summarizes all these into two. He combined the first sentence of the Jewish Shema prayer from Deuteronomy 6:5: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” with its complementary law from Leviticus 19:18: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”Are you and Extender of Love or a Pretender of Love?
TOPIC 2: Do you follow God’s greatest commandments?
When the scribe asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment, he was expecting only one answer. But Jesus gave two. First is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. [ You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. – Mark 12:30] The second is to love your neighbor as yourself. [You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:31] When we speak of our being called to holiness, we need not go far. We just have to do two things: love God and love neighbor. Reading scriptures, a regular daily prayer and reflection time, reading spiritual books, and watching spiritual material online are ways to deepen our love for God. The vertical relationship must be complemented and completed by the horizontal relationship. That is why we have the cross. In loving God and neighbor, you cannot do without pain, suffering, sacrifice. You will have people persecuting you – saying bad things about you to others, plotting evil against you, abusing you, taking advantage of you. But our response is to love them nevertheless. Be inspired by the story of a couple and then a community in Metro Manila that has conspired to share and to help a needy brethren.
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