In today’s Gospel, Mark 12:28-34, Jesus is asked by one of the scribes which is the greatest commandment. He responds with not one but two commandments – Love God with all you heart, soul, mind, and strength, then he adds a second, love your neighbor as yourself. In a rare occurrence, the
scribe gave Jesus a compliment, and Jesus told him he wasn’t far from the kingdom of God.
To love God with all your heart means putting him first in your life, all your soul means to give yourself totally to God, all our minds means all of our thoughts and understanding, and all of our strength means with all we have; every ounce of our energy.
Jesus quickly adds a second commandment, as if the first is not complete without the other; love your neighbor. He is saying that only loving God is incomplete if we don’t love our neighbors. As we hear in 1 John 4:20-21, “If anyone says I love God, but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen”.
This Gospel is a great reminder that to only love God is not enough. Jesus needs us to take that love and spread it into the world to our neighbors that so desperately need it. As Jesus commissioned his disciples, he needs us to be his hands and feet today.
De Colores, Deacon Kevin