Monday, February 18, 2019
One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that Jesus answered them well, he asked Him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:28-31
I recall a television show called, “What Is It?”. They would set before the panelists and the audience a strange object and were asked, “What is this and what is it used for?”. More often than not, the panelist was baffled but now and then they figured out what is was. In this exchange of questions and answers between a scribe and Christ … they consider exactly what was the essence of the moral and righteous life. These brilliant minds came to an agreement … it was the loving of God with every aspect of one’s life and loving others as if they were in your stead.
Who are we as Christians, as people of faith? We are unselfish lovers, gracious lovers, initiators of love, the embodiment and expression of a human love so beautifully and bountifully given that it becomes something also Divine. We are lovers who love in the manner that God does love and when offered Divine Love becomes exquisitely human.
Who are we as Christians, as people of faith? What is the essence of who we are, what we believe, and in what manner we live? Love. Divinely bestowed yet humanly expressed, Love. Love in all moments, love in all places, love in all thoughts and actions. Love. Not a set of doctrines, not a set of traditions, not a syndrome of causes, not a rite or a ritual … but Love. Without the genuine, authentic, fully embodied Love … all else suffers from its weakening of the essence.
Yet … is the “loving” the identifying mark of our own Christian lives and the life of our Christian communities?
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz