04 Jun The Heart of It All (Mk 12:32-33) by Fr. Jonathan St. Andre
“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.” ~ Mk 12:32-33 (full readings)
Fr. Jonathan’s Reflections: In today’s Gospel, Jesus is asked a difficult question: “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Rather than choose from one of the 613 precepts of the Mosaic Law, He goes to the heart of it all, love. Quoting from the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus, Jesus says that the first of all commandments is the love of God naturally followed by the love of neighbor. A visual image of the totality of love is the cross- it has a vertical bar (our relationship with God) and a horizontal bar (our relationship with fellow brothers and sisters). Dramatically, Jesus says to the scribe that this kind of love is worth more than simply external sacrifice. Why? Because it comes from the heart. We may be tempted to believe that our spiritual works and external sacrifices are what is of greatest worth. While it may be important to do these things, it is necessary that they flow from hearts that are formed with a total love of God and neighbor. Love is the greatest weapon for life! Love purifies our own sense of what is important. Maybe we could ask the question, “What is the most important attitude of all who are Pro-Life?” The response might be love of God and neighbor. All life comes from God, God is love, love brings life.
* Fr. Jonathan St.André is a Franciscan Friar of the Third Order Regular (T.O.R.) and a Priest of God. He currently lives in Loretto, Pennsylvania where he is blessed to work with young Men seeking God’s will as Franciscan novices..
Faith Challenge: Take 5 minutes today to consider the vertical and horizontal beam of the cross in your life. Are you loving God wholeheartedly? Do you love your neighbor to the best of your ability? Finish your time of self-examination praying for those in Pro-Life ministry to be graced to deepen their love for God and others.
Counter-Culture News: LifeSiteNews, LifeNews, American Family, Vatican, Project Rachel..
Our Prayers: Pray LIFE Runners Creed to End Abortion. Add Prayers. Pray with meals, bedtime, wake up, unceasingly. Consider mid-week Family Rosary (17 min). Let’s pray now.
Feast Day: St. Francis Carraciolo
Faith Quote: “Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything.” ~ St. Theresa of Avila
Through Christ our Lord,
Fr. Jonathan T.O.R.