Breakfast with the Word: Friday of the 3rd Week of Lent
When you say that something is the most important, it means that it is highly beneficial, significant, valued, needed and of course better.
In today’s gospel of Mark 12:28-34, one of the scribes approaches Jesus to ask Him about the greatest among the laws. Jesus replies ‘This is the first: Listen, oh Israel, the Lord our God is the one, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.
The second then is ‘You must love your neighbour as you love yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.
What is Love?
While addressing His apostles in John 15, Jesus says “Love each other, the way I have loved you. There is no greater love than this: than to lay your life for your friends”.
Hence love is the will to sacrifice anything for the good of the other. It comes in when someone is willing to help, save and do anything to save the life of someone.
The endpoint of love is not sin like many misunderstand today. The endpoint is to save life.
We love when we are willing to give up our time, pride, money etc for the good of someone. When we truly love God, then we can sacrifice anything that may disrupt our relationship with Him.
The Secret About Love.
In Jesus’ reply, to the scribe in the gospel Mark 12:28-34. Jesus reveals a few things about love; Firstly, love should be the driving force, it should be the first in everything that we do, both spiritual and physical.
Secondly, love is the greatest among every law and everything we do and thirdly, it is the summary of all the laws. Hence in our relationship with God and with others, the love of God should be the driving force.
Love should be our guide. Our prayer life has to come from the love we have for God. We do not pray as people who are forced or pressured. We pray because of the love we have for our creator. When it becomes our guide, most of the things that seemed difficult will become easy.
In our relationship with others, Love should be the first and the last. This is simply when we live for the sake of others. It detests selfishness, unnecessary competition, hatred, envy, jealousy. It is living to make others happy. When we understand it this way, there will be peace, there will be progress.
This is seen when couples learn to live for the sake of each other. We find love in our families when family members live for the sake of one another.
There is love when we remove envy and live to help each other. Then we experience the power of love. This is the best way to live and the secret of progress. We do not fight a cold war and come out to say we love. In love, there is no pretence.
In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Paul enumerates the characteristics of love. He says that love is patient and kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Love does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongdoings.
In verse 6, Paul says that love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It is always there to protect. Love always trusts, hopes, and always perseveres to the end.
Love As the Secret of Success.
Do you know that love is also the secret of success. If you do not develop love for the things that you do, you will one day become tired of doing them. If you want to develop in doing something, make it your hobby. Love what you do and what you do will also love you. It is easier to do things you love than the things people tell you to do. Life becomes successful when you do things out of passion.
In our relationship with God, when we truly love God and do things out of the love we have for God, the grace that we receive surpasses the one that comes when it looks as if someone is forcing us to.
In our prayer life, the love of God should be the first. Approach God daily because you truly love Him.
All for God.
In the gospel Mark 12:28-34, Jesus says, we have to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. This is the decision to give God all. It is remaining strong in God despite the tide that may come against us.
Loving God with “All” is the best, most important, first, and summary of everything the true Christian is expected to do.
“All” denotes everything, no reserve, nothing remaining. It then means that if we say we love and worship God, it involves everything we do, even in our relationship with others. So the two commandments are interconnected.
In 1 John 4:20, the bible says “if we say we love God and hate our brother, we make ourselves liars. You cannot hate your brother you have seen and love God you are yet to see”.
Therefore, in everything we do, in everything we say, in everything we think, even the things we intend to do must be for God. All for God and nothing else. Let this be the driving force.
Give because of God, forgive because of God, help because of God, live to make God happy. This is the way to tap God’s grace easily, the easiest way to avoid sin, the perfect way to live with others and the surest guide to eternal life.
May Jesus through His death and resurrection save us from any calamity and whatever that keeps us away from Him. God bless your day. Amen