Sunday, November 4, 2018
Today, in Mercy, both Deuteronomy and Mark proclaim the call to love God wholeheartedly.
In Mark, it is one of the scribes who initiates this proclamation by asking Jesus which is the first – most important – of the commandments. Unlike many of Jesus’ encounters with the scribes and Pharisees, this one does not seem hostile. The man, as one might expect of an expert in the Law, wants to know if Jesus continues the priorities of the Torah.
He is pleased with Jesus’ answer. And Jesus is pleased with him. We can almost see Christ’s smile at the scribe’s sincere and lived response.
This man sees through the Pharisaical confusions which have been heaped upon this most important law. He understands that love of God and neighbor mean infinitely more than burnt offerings and public sacrifices.
How do we reach this wholehearted love in our complex lives? We’re not busy with burnt offerings, but we are distracted by so many forces that lay claim to our attention and devotion.
We love many worthy and unworthy things in our lives. We often confuse real love with one of its masquerading forms – “loves” that are self-serving rather than other-serving.
Today’s Alleluia verse is an answer to our, “How?”.
Whoever loves me
will keep my word, says the Lord;
and my father will love him
and we will come to him.
Real love is proved by action. It’s that simple. What do my actions say about where my heart is? Let me just flip back through my last 24 hours to see if God would have smiled at my choices, words, and actions. And let me change what I need to change for tomorrow.
Music: V’Ahavta- Marty Goetz
V’Ahavta is part of the Shema Yisrael (שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל)- a prayer that serves as a centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewish prayer services.