March 4, 2016
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, 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.” Mk_12:28-34
If Jesus said nothing more than what we heard in today’s Gospel, it’s all we would ever have needed to hear from Him. In two short sentences He explained what the absolute, most important thing is to God. And He expressed it in the form of a Commandment, leaving it up to us to decide if God, and Salvation, and Life, and eternal happiness, and peace are something we choose or not.
It truly IS our choice!
And it all stems from Love; our love of God, and our love of neighbor.
So, IF we turn ON our TV or Radio; If we look at the majority of books and magazines in our bookstores; If we walk into any toy store; why is it that most of what we see, and hear, and read, and the toys our kids and grandkids play with are all about death and revenge, about fighting and cheating, about exploitation of sexes, racism and hatred?
It just makes us wonder, “Are there really that many people in the world who like all that stuff?
Are there really that many people who choose just the opposite of the one thing that will make them happy?”
Or have the people who would prefer other books and shows and toys, just given up, because the world is so saturated with this Culture of Death?
You see, we really are, just like the sheep that Jesus always talked about. And sometimes we will follow just for the sake of easiness or mindlessness. But if we are not careful, that ‘Leading Wolf’ and his/her little band of disciples will direct us right into his oven.
And then, the big question is – “How do WE direct those sheep away from that path of self-destruction, to follow the true Shepherd, Jesus.
Guess that’s why Jesus said so much more than just the ultimate command. You see, we have FOUR whole books of directions from Jesus, with a wide variety of examples: in the Gospels; From cures of sicknesses, to behavior and attitudes at work, it’s all there.
And then, we have Paul’s letters, which give us even more examples of both, coping with the world and leading it. And if we get even an inkling that we are not that Leader who is going to change the world; then think again. Because every store we enter with the smile of Christ; and every visit we have with the kids and grandkids – to teach them the True values in life; and every decision we make not to support that Culture of Death, is one more example that those sheep have to change their path.
And with every change in path that leads people from destruction to salvation – ALL of us come closer to that Kingdom that Jesus spoke so often about; The Kingdom of peace; The Kingdom of hope; The Kingdom of love;
The Kingdom of God!
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