“Which is the first of all the commandments?”

Mark 12:28 

Monday, 1 November 2021

Mark 12:28-34 

The message in this week’s Sunday gospel is that the most important commandment is love. This has been God’s message to humanity from the beginning of God’s conversation with humanity. 

When asked which is the most important commandment, Jesus shows his profound knowledge of the Old Testament by quoting the Shema, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). Jewish children learned this prayer from the age of seven, and they could always fall back on this. It was prayed by prayerful Jews two or three times a day. It is a very good place to meet a scribe. And then Jesus continues, “And you are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.” In the Message translation, “with all your passion, prayer, intelligence and energy.” This is with every part of us.

Love is why we were created, and it is for love that we were created. God is love, and God has created us in love, and God is about love. Since God is love, love will never end. When we are united in love, we, too, do not end. In John 15:4, Jesus says, “Remain in me as I remain in you.” This is the intimacy of love to which we are invited – being one! This is about a real relationship, not master to subordinate, not a king to subject, but a loving relationship with our “Abba” or Triune God who displays to us the deepest of relationships, total mutual giving and receiving. We are invited into that relationship of love.

What is my passion?

To whom do I speak when I pray?

Where do I aim my intelligence and energy in my life?

How do I express my love of God?

Does my relationship with God bring meaning to my life?  

Loving God,

You are love, Your love overflowed into the world you created. You created each of us from love, of love and for love. All love comes from you. May we rejoice in this love with which we love. We offer you love with and in response to your gifting. We love you through loving what you have created. May we participate in your love, always.

Amen.

 
Katharine Knowles

Katharine Knowles was educated at the Dominican Convent of Our Lady of Mercy in Springs; and at the University of the Witwatersrand where she did a B.Sc. Physiotherapy graduating in 1973. She worked in this field, except for a few child-bearing years, until retirement in the last few years. She was trained as a spiritual director by the Jesuit Institute. She is deeply grateful for the gift of 3 children and 4 grandchildren (so far). Hobbies include walking, reading, being in nature and travel.

email@jesuitinstitute.org.za
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