Sunday 3 April 2016

Thursday of 9th Week, even numbered year Jeudi de la 9e semaine, année paire

“Jesus said: ’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Tm.2,8-15 Ps.24 Mk.12,28b-34

Thursday of 9th Week, even numbered year 2nd June 2016

“One of the scribes who had listened tot hem debating appreciated what 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 your God is the One, Only Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this : You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.”

According to the Rabbi’s tradition, the Law of Moses has 613 commandments, of which 365 were forbidden things and 213 positive precepts.

One of the rules of interpretations had a tendency to situate all the commandments on the same level :’That the commandment passed as a light one may also be seen as a grave one!’ That might come from a good intention which expresses a very attentive Love for God but it could also turn towards a punctilious legalism and at times end up in deforming peoples’ conscience.

At the time of Jesus some men who were clear in their faith and tried to put into place a hierarchy in the multiple obligations of the Law : hence this question coming to Jesus from a specialist ’Which is the first commandment?’ Hearing Jesus’ answer, the man unites love of neighbour with love for God, the two commandments of Love.

"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.

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

Jesus replied by quoting the lovely text that everyone had in their minds, which every Jew had to recite at least twice a day. The Gospel ends up

reuniting the two commandments in the Love of God, to love one’s brother as oneself.

Here we are confronted to this challenge that love is. We have the experience of what opposes to Love within ourselves.

Saint Francis of Assisi would say ’Love is not loved.’

Jesus has made us victorious of all that is opposed to the Love of the Cross. He glorified the Father in saving us from hatred. Jesus is the Love that is given as food so as to communicate life to us, in his Eucharist.

God’s Infinite Love in Jesus Christ transforms us until we become love. If we celebrate the Eucharist it is in order to eat the Bread of Life so as to obtain life.

“Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said ’You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”

The two commandments are similar, love of the neighbour and love for God should mobilise the whole of the person and their strength. One cannot really get close to 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.

You are not far off, since you are seeking truth, since you wish to find it with me, says Jesus. You are not far from it if you have caught a glimpse of the importance of charity, if you have understood that you have to wish in practical way everything you would wish for yourself : a happy life full of joy, one that is given, efficient, to be recognised by other people and the friendship of God.

Through his Passion and Resurrection, Jesus overcame all obstacles to Love. By his Love he overcomes all that is opposed to Love. We follow him to die to ourselves and to come to His Life! We are invited to participate in the salvation of our sisters and brothers an dint his way enter into the Kingdom.

The mystery of the Eucharist is the great furnace of Love which humanity regenerates. When we eat the Bread of Life and drink the Wine of the wedding Feast, we make the mystery of the Son of God come to us, as Mary did at the Annunciation.

We ask fro the grace to be plunged into the Source of life. May we become more and more loving with Jesus in the mystery of the Church.