Thursday of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time [II]

Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time [II]
2 Timothy 2:8-15  +  Mark 12:28-34
June 7, 2018

“There is no other commandment greater than these.”

In in the Mystery of the Word made Flesh, God makes clear to us—in the flesh—not only His divine nature.  In His human life, God the Son makes clear to us the meaning of the Law of ancient Israel.  In the person of Christ Jesus, we learn how to fulfill the great teaching given our fathers in faith.

In particular, if we listen carefully to Our Lord’s summary of the Torah in today’s Gospel passage, we notice that as there are two natures—divine and human—in the one person of Jesus Christ, so these two commands form one single commandment.

Love, quite obviously, is the common denominator between these two commands:  “Love the Lord completely,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Understanding these two as one means having Christ at the center of our entire spiritual focus:  seeing in Christ our neighbor, and seeing in Christ our Lord and God.  So we are to love others as Christ loved us from the Cross.

However, we must even go one step further.  We are to love others so that others will love as Christ has loved us.  Not merely are we to give our lives for others.  We are so to have an effect on others that they in turn will do the same.  But how is this possible?  We cannot control the decisions of others.  Even if we love them they may hate us in turn.  Yet God’s grace makes all things possible.