Friday 13 March 2015 — Latest update Sunday 10 January 2016

Friday of the 3rd Week of Lent. Vendredi de la 3e semaine de Carême

“Jesus said to him :’ You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”

Hosea 14, 2-10 Ps. 80 Mk. 12, 28b-34

Friday of 3rd Week of Lent

4th March 2016

"Jesus said ’You are not far from the kingdom of God.’

Ho.14,2-10 Ps.80 Mk.12,28b-34

One of the scribes who had listened to them debating appreciated that Jesus had given a good answer and put a further question to him, ’Which is the first of all the commandments?’ Jesus replied ’This is the first : Listen Israel, the Lord our God is the one, only Lord, and you must 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 must love your neighbour as yourself.’ there is no commandment greater than these."

Love and God and love of our brothers and sisters is linked to the very reality of our life that is one.

The two commandments are similar, because Love for God and love for our neighbour must mobilise our whole person and all the strength that is in us. We can’t really get close to God without beginning to love all that God loves. And the closer one is to God, the closer we become to other children of God.

In the middle this season of Lent, we adjust our way of walking towards Easter. God develops in each one of us, his children, a deep heart, so that it loves the human community more and more, so that it blossoms in God’s desire.

Jesus invites us to observe the commandments he comes to accomplish so as to build up the Kingdom.

The scribe is not ’far from the kingdom of God’. He listens to Jesus’ response…, he recognises that the second commandment, always inseparable from the first, is nevertheless distinct from it. For love for others cannot replace love for God, not more than the neighbour can replace God.

“The scribe said to him, ’Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true, that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any burnt offering or sacrifice.”

’Charity is everything there is on earth’, said Therese of Lisieux, ’and we are holy to the extent that we practice it.’

Jesus confirms to us that the first commandment is in agreement with the second so as to make just one commandment : ’You shall love your neighbour as yourself.There is no greater commandment than this.’

The Love of God and the love for our sisters and brothers is brought about in the same Love. Not only does it leave from the same source, but it is the same love expressed in a different way.

Mark gives a very positive aspect to t is conversation : So what is the first commandment? This Word is very present, whether it be on a worldly level, in the Church, in community or in family. Jesus brings about a great revolution, the commandment of Love is one, this is something greatly new.

“Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said,’ You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared question him anymore.”

We can easily take a look at the conversion Jesus asks of us, it always comes back to not separating the love of God with the love of our neighbour.

We know what a strong temptation it can be to put into different compartments Love in our lives : on one side what is spiritual, and on the other side what is temporal!

On one side, the act of faith, and the other, social commitment; on one side, the Church, on the other, politics; on one side, contemplation, on the other, action.These false oppositions go one endlessly. They are walls we build up between two loves, divine and human. Jesus invites us to knock them down.

We are seeking Truth, we wish to give meaning to our lives, create a joyful life that is given and efficient for God’s Kingdom.

In loving our brother and in loving God, we glorify the God of Love who is at their source and we wish to endlessly find ourselves in this Love.

Henceforth, Jesus takes our whole life into his Heart and He opens up for us a royal way, the way of Love.

We ask the Holy Spirit for the grace so that we may love as Jesus Himself loved us.

FRIDAY of 3rd WEEK of LENT Friday 13th March 2015 : Friday of Third week of Lent

“One of the scribes who had listened to them debating appreciated that Jesus had given a good answer and put a further question to him , ’which is the first of all commandments? Jesus replied, ’This is the first : Listen Israel the Lord Our God is One, the Only Lord, and you must 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 must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”

“You will love the Lord you God with all your heart” means “The whole of your person will be mobilized for the Love of your God, you have to move towards God with what is best in yourselves.” In Biblical terms, the heart is the whole of the inner person, the privileged place where man risks his faith. Straight away Jesus adds : “You will love your neighbor as yourself.” It is the second commandment always inseparable from the first and yet always distinct from it. For love for someone else cannot replace love of God. Love of God and love of brothers is very closely linked in the very reality of our life that is one. We can understand the scribe’s intervention in the Gospel who has 600 prescriptions of the Law to follow! In the time of Jesus, some lucid men tried to establish a hierarchy with all these multiple obligations of the Law, hence the question of this specialist to Jesus : “Which commandment comes first for us? How can we work it out?” In the middle of Lent, we readjust the path we take towards Easter. We love God’s desire for human community, that it blossom and develop in each one of its children a heart that deepens, one that loves more and more.

The two commandments are similar, because the Love of God and the love of our neighbor must mobilize the whole person and its strength. One cannot really

approach God without beginning to love all that God loves : and the closer one is to God, the closer one becomes to God’s other children. Therese de Lisieux said that charity was the throughout the whole earth and one becomes holy wherever one puts it into practice. Jesus, seeing that he had replied well, told him “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” The first commandment is validated by the second to make only one commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than this.” The Love of God and of creatures occurs in one same Love. Not only does it leave from the same source, but it is the same love that is expressed in a different manner. Mark gives a very positive note to this conversation : So which is the first commandment? This word is important today whether it be on a world level or in the Church, in the community or in families. Jesus brings about a very big revolution the commandment of Love is one, this is a huge novelty.

“Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ’You are not far from the Kingdom of God. and after that no one dared question him anymore.” The scribe had very well understood : ’Well spoken master, what you have said is true, that he is one and there is no other.’ we must love and love our neighbor as ourselves.“”You are not far..“This is at the same time encouraging and a deception. Jesus speaks to each one of us : Since we seek truth, since we want to give meaning to our lives, to our work, to our sufferings; since we want to take some distance from the whirlwind of our life, from the deceit of superficial relationships, since we want to escape the routine of our daily lives, we”are not far“, seeing the importance of charity that we wish on a practical level for our brothers : a joyful life, given, efficient, we are not far from the Kingdom of God. By loving our brother and loving God, we glorify the God of Love in whom we wish to find ourselves for ever more. Jesus takes our life from now on in His Heart and open up for us a royal path: the path of love. We are drawing close to Easter and we know that Jesus will give us this new commandment :”My commandment, “He will say,” is that you love each other as I have loved you." We contemplate Jesus in his sacrifice on the Cross and we step onto the crazy path of love that he opened up for us.

We ask for the grace from the Holy Spirit that we may be able to love each other as Jesus Himself loved us. Add your testimony