MARK 12:28-34 GOSPEL READING AND REFLECTION (June 4, 2020)

A teacher of the law had been listening to this discussion and admired how Jesus answered them.  So he came up and asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?”

Jesus answered, “The first is: Hear, Israel! The Lord, our God, is One Lord; and you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with your entire mind and with all your strength. And after this comes a second commandment: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these two.”

The teacher of the law said to him, “well spoken, Master; you are right when you say that he is one, and there is no other besides him. To love him with all our heart, with all our understanding and with all our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves is more important than any burnt offering or sacrifices.”

Jesus approved this answer and said, “you are not far from the kingdom of God,” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.

POINT OF REFLECTION

Jesus’ life on earth was all but teaching. The teacher of the laws on the other hand, keep on following Jesus not mainly to learn from Him but to wait for opportune time to trap him for some accusation but this time they  listened  and even appreciated and admired the teaching of Jesus regarding the question about the first two greatest commandments of God.

As Jesus had told, we need to love God in four ways: Loving God with all our heart, Loving God with all our soul, Loving God with our entire mind, and Loving God with all our strength. When we say loving God with all our heart is another way of saying that we need to love God with the fullness of life. When we say loving God with all our soul is giving Him a love that cut across life on earth and life after death. This is a love that is untouched by the occasion of death. We are also to love God with our entire mind and our strength. In this loving, we need to love God with all the reasons and use our strength to best serve God throughout life. The second of this greatest commandment: loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. This is the real picture of unselfish love. You can do this by giving to others what you want to give to yourself.  Make it happen to others what we really want for ourselves. In conclusion, we can fulfill the will of the Father by doing the first and the second of His greatest commandments that is, loving God with  all  our hearts, all our soul and all our mind and strength. And the second is loving our neighbor as we love ourselves.

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