There are times when we try to express to God how much we truly love Him. We show God how we love Him during prayers and how we try not to miss any liturgical activities.
In our love for God, we become always active in our day to day interaction with God. During prayers, we call God different types of names expressing our love for Him. Even in our discussions, we try to express gratitude to God, telling others how we so much love this our God.
These are good but let us not forget that the love we have for God should manifest also in the way we treat others. There is something God requires us to do, if we truly Love Him. Let us go through the gospel.
In today’s gospel of Mark 12:28-34, the scribe takes his turn to ask Jesus questions after the Pharisees, Herodians and the Sadducees have all taken their turn.
He saw how Jesus answered them well, then He put up his question. Today’s gospel of Mark 12:28-34 lightly presents his question unlike In Matthew 22:34-40 and Luke 10:25-28, where the scribe presents his question as trying to test Jesus.
Hence, the response from the scribe ( He told Jesus “you are right”) and what happened at the end of the gospel today which indicated that ” after that, no one seems to ask Him any question” suggested it could still be a test.
Yet looking at the event that preceded this, the scribe seeing how Jesus answered them well, may have been thrilled with His wisdom and decided to take his turn.
Love God with “all”
Jesus’ response to the scribes on the greatest commandment hinges everything on God and the standard to do this is nothing but “all”.
All indicates everything, admits no limitations, no reservation, giving God all of you. All your heart involves all your feelings, emotions, motivation etc for doing the things we do.
Then, All your soul indicates your spiritual and inner self. All your mind includes your knowledge, your thinking, while all your strength involves whatever you do or say.
This then indicates that to love God involves everything in us. It is not by merely shouting God I love you but by everything we do.
It involves our day to day interaction with Him, how we work for Him and also how we treat others. God requires us to treat others well if truly we love Him.
Even in the midst of challenges and troubles, our love for God should supersede and show in everything that we do.
God requires us to love Him in the way we treat the other person living close with us. He wants us to love Him, even when we feel like not loving Him. Our emotions, feelings, thinking, doing etc must be inspired by the love of God.
Hence, God requires us to pray without hatred, work without envy and live without quarrel. We are created in His image. Therefore We are created to love and not to hate.
The Other Person
Jewish law includes 613 commandments and out of them, Jesus singles out the love we have for the other person.
The love we have for God is reflected in the way we live and in the way we treat others. 1 John 4:20 says “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 have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen”.
We can never live in hatred, wickedness and jealousy and claim to love Jesus. We can never live treating the other person as if he/she is not a human being and come back to tell God we love Him.
In John 13:34-35, Jesus portrays the love of one another as a must. It is not conditional. He says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so, you must love one another. It is only by this that everyone will know that you are my disciples”.
The way we love others depicts essentially how we truly love God. Let us not forget how essential this commandment is, in our lives as Christians.
Show no hatred. Let God fight your battle. Love more and hate less. What God requires from us as today’s gospel of Mark 12:28-34 tries to portray is to act justly, to love and show mercy, and to walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:8). He requires us to be a blessing to others. To do this, is to live Godly.
May God bless you, dearest, help us to love with all our hearts. May He be with you today in everything that you do. Amen