June 8 2023 Gospel Reading and Reflection: Mark 12:28-34

6/8/2023 (Thursday) Today’s gospel reading: Mark 12:28-34

28 One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”
29 Jesus replied, “The most important one is this: ‘Listen, Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord.
30 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
31 The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
32 The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, He is One and there is no other than he.
33 And to love God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, is more important than to offer animals and other sacrifices to God.”
34 Jesus noticed how wise his answer was, and so he told him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” After this nobody dared to ask Jesus any more questions.

6/8/2023 (Thursday) Today’s gospel reflection: Mark 12:28-34

Loving God and neighbor is much easier said than done. Therefore it must be put into practice for its value to be more appreciated. In the last verse of the gospel above, Jesus tells the scribe that he is not far from the Kingdom of God. Why did He said that instead of telling the scribe that he is in the Kingdom? It could be because the scribe has mentally grasped the meaning of love but he has yet to put it into practice.

Be that as it may, we appreciate the fact that the scribe, an expert of the Law, asked an important question although his motive may just be to test Jesus. By asking, Jesus was able to give an answer that benefits all generations who have the same question. We pray that anyone who reads this passage will not only understand the meaning of love but will also put it into action.

As Saint Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Indeed everything is nothing without love and nothing comes into existence without God. He loves us unconditionally. It is but proper that we love Him with our whole being.

Yet our love for God is meaningless unless we love our neighbor. The scripture explains that “whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they can see, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. (1 John 4:20)”

Indeed true love has a vertical dimension (loving God) and horizontal dimension (loving others). That is why the cross (+) with its vertical and horizontal axis is a perfect illustration of love. In the cross, Jesus glorified God and laid His life for us all whom He loved.

Loving one another becomes much easier when we believe that God is present in all of us. Moreover, when we believe that we belong to one family under the fatherhood of God, we look at each other as brothers and sisters. With that, loving one another comes naturally. Let us therefore pray that God who loved us first will continue to melt and mold our heart so we will really love Him back and our neighbors too.

Go here to read further reflection on Love of God and neighbor.

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