A teacher of the Law was there who heard the discussion. He saw that Jesus had given the Sadducees a good answer, so he came to him with a question: ‘Which commandment is the most important of all?’
Jesus replied, ‘The most important one is this, “Listen, Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second most important commandment is this: “Love your neighbour as you love yourself”. There is no other commandment more important than these two.’ (verses 28-31)
Read Mark 12: 28-34
Oscar Romero, the martyred archbishop of El Salvador, was once asked why he thought that mere love could help settle the violence in his country. In answer he said that love is more than an act. Love is a power. When it is released, it is a greater force than human violence or political oppression.
True love gets its power from God. To love someone is not simply to have good and kind feelings for that person. To love someone is to participate in God’s own powerful love for that person, which overcomes the most hostile forces of sin, deceit, violence and hatred. It involves you in God’s powerful actions by which he dismantles oppressive structures and instead creates people of faith who practise compassion and mutual respect.
That kind of love can only get its power from the one true living God who died so that the dead might live. That’s why, before Christ commands you to love, he commands you to ‘listen’.
Lord God, help me to listen to your word, which tells of your powerful love for me, so that I may share in your powerful love for others. Amen.
by Adam Cooper, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
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