Unlike most of the scribes and Pharisees that have been testing Jesus, the scribe in today’s Gospel impresses Jesus. Rather than testing Jesus on a particular law or commandment, the scribe asks Jesus which is the greatest (first) commandment. Jesus responds with the ancient Israelite prayer called the “shema.”
What set the scribe apart from the others was his response. He affirmed that what Jesus said was worth more than the usual “burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Loving the Lord with every aspect of our being requires more than just lawful obedience.
What does it mean to love the Lord with all of you? This question invites us to examine ourselves: our actions, motives, desires, and our emotions. Is God truly the one Lord of your life? Who or what are His rivals for your attention and time? Do you treat your possessions as belonging to God, given to us as stewards for the good of others?
This approach to life becomes difficult because the object of our love is not a physical but a spiritual being. God as Spirit is why we must also focus on the second greatest commandment, loving our neighbor as ourselves. If we really love our Lord, then we will love what He loves – which is everyone. If God seems distant and unseen, then focus on loving the other people in your life as an act of loving God. Remember, everyone is uniquely created in God’s image. Our job is to see that image of our Lord in others, and love them accordingly.
Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection
Do you allow anything to keep you from the love of God and the joy of serving others with a generous heart?