Friday of the Third Week of Lent; 24th March, 2017.
At that time: One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he 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.”
Commandment, commandment on the stone;
Which is the greatest that leads the patient dog to the heavenly bone?
And Christ gives the answer: Love. So simple the word, love; so simple it is that its simplicity gets misused everyday. We say “I love you” even when we don’t truly mean it. We claim to love men and women but the issue of racism and gender indifference remains on the rise. But Christ isn’t calling us to utter mere words of love as we do so often; no, instead He calls us to live out love. First by loving God above all earthly gains and worldly pleasures with our all-heart, soul, mind and body. By keeping His statutes and ordinances. By living up to the expectations of a Christian in the narcissistic world who echos self-love before any other love. And then follows the call to love of neighbour as we love ourselves. Looking at them with the love we would view ourselves with while facing the mirror because they are channels through which love for God can be perfected. God has shown us such great love in His goodness and mercy towards us, wouldn’t we fail as Christians if we didn’t reciprocate this magnitude of love to those who live around us?
Only by obeying this Commandment of love can we return to the Lord our God who would take away our sins. Only by loving freely shall we blossom like the lily and the beauty of our souls be like the olive, flourishing in everything we do. May God give us the grace to love unconditionally this season of Lent.