Gospel of the day
Friday March 24, 2017
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 12:28b-34.
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, "Which is the first of all the commandments?" Jesus replied, "The first is this: 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, 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." The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, 'He is One and there is no other than he.' And 'to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself' is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." And when Jesus saw that (he) answered with understanding, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Commentary Saint Caesarius of Arles
If you love, you possess God, and if you possess God, what do you lack? What does the rich person possess if he does not love? What is the poor person lacking if he loves? Perhaps you think that the person whose trunk is full of gold is rich? ... You are wrong, for that person is truly rich in whom God deigns to dwell. What can you not know of Scripture if love, that is to say God, has begun to possess you? What good action will you not be able to do if you are worthy of carrying the source of all kindness in your heart? What adversary will you fear if you merit having God in you as king? … So, dearly beloved brothers, let us learn to love God with all our heart and let us begin by loving all human beings as ourselves. If we do this, no conflict, no reason for dispute, no court case will be able to separate us – ourselves and our neighbor – from the love of God. Love all human beings with all your heart and do whatever you want. Love those who are righteous because they are already good but pray that they become even better. Love those who are not righteous because they are fellow mortals, but detest what is bad in them and constantly wish that God in his mercy will convert them to goodness.
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