One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, ‘Which commandment is the first of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The first is, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’ Then the scribe said to him, ‘You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that “he is one, and besides him there is no other”; 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”,-this is much more important than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices.’ When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ After that no one dared to ask him any question.Mark 12:28-34What elements of my faith do I struggle with? Is the commandment to love really the priority for me? When I am struggling in my life what is my priority?
Once again we visit thoughts on the sacred space website. (https://www.sacredspace.ie/node/186039 )for some thoughts on the passage from Luke.
Recall times in my life when I was able to put the ‘law of love’ and what that was like. What happened as a result? Talk with Jesus about this and give thanks
Lord, why should I love you with all my heart? Because if a group of good people set up a beautiful house and gardens for me to live in, I would love them. If they worked against all that might hurt me, I would love them. If one of them were to die a horrible death to save me from disaster, I would love them. If they Lord, promised me eternal joy, I would love them.
Lord, enlarge my heart. Make me more and more sensitive to the quality of your love, especially as Holy Week comes near. There you show me so dramatically how much you love me. Make me a grateful person.
As we struggle with so many commitments and responsibilities, we too ask the same question as the scribe, ‘Which of the commandments is the first of all?’ What should be first in my list of priorities, what is my most important duty? Jesus’ reply is disarming in its simplicity, no wonder they did not dare ask him any further. I let his reply echo in my heart, asking for the grace to understand what it means to put love as my highest priority.
I also ask myself, in the presence of Jesus, what it means to love God with all my heart, all my soul and with all my mind and with all my strength. I ask for this single-mindedness, and for seeing all my life embraced in this commitment.