March 8 2024: Bible Verse of the Day – Friday of the Third Week of Lent, Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, Friday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time, Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – Which is the Greatest Commandment? – Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-34
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:34-40 and Mark 12:28-34
Catholic Readings For Today
Bible Verse of the Day Reflections
Well! Well! Well! Today we finally hear Jesus Christ telling us the two cardinal commandments that sum up all other constitutions, laws, Acts of Parliament, rules and regulations, terms and conditions, and all other guidelines that people put in place to govern themselves.
The commandment of love is the most important in this world because the lack of it causes us to start writing other small earthly laws to micro-manage what would have been handled well by embracing love in the first place.
All the evils of this world are brought about by a lack of love for God and our neighbours too. Earthly laws are enacted to prevent a person from hurting another person or the environment around them.
If we love God, we would take care of the environment, and all that lives in both the land and the sea, just as He commanded man during creation.
If we love our neighbours, we won’t hurt them physically, socially, emotionally, or psychologically. We would be living in perfect harmony, just the way God intended for us. But, because we do not have love in our hearts, everything else in us and around us falls apart.
In the Gospel, a scribe, well-versed in the religious law, approaches Jesus with a sincere question: “Which commandment is the most important of all?” In response, Jesus delivers a clear and concise answer, encapsulating the heart of the Christian faith.
His reply emphasizes the centrality of love: “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And 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.'”
This declaration affirms the oneness of God. Jesus affirms the primacy of wholehearted love and devotion to God.
However, Jesus doesn’t stop there. He adds another crucial dimension to the greatest commandment, saying, “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” Here, he seamlessly connects the love for God with love for one’s fellow human beings.
The two commandments are inseparable, forming the foundation of a genuine and transformative faith.
The reflection on this Gospel passage challenges us to examine our own lives. Are we truly loving God with all aspects of our being? Do we extend that love to our neighbors, treating them with the same care and compassion we desire for ourselves?
This Gospel passage invites us to cultivate a holistic and active love that encompasses both our relationship with God and our interactions with others. It calls us to move beyond mere adherence to religious rituals and legalistic interpretations of faith, urging us to embody a love that transforms hearts and communities.
As we ponder these words of Jesus, let us strive to live out the greatest commandment daily, recognizing that true discipleship involves a radical and selfless love that mirrors the boundless love of our Creator.
Therefore, let us start loving the Lord our God with all our hearts, all our soul, and all our mind and loving our neighbours as ourselves, and we will start seeing the world around us changing for the better, with fewer crimes, murders, plunder of public resources, corruption and other evils brought about by lack of love.
An Example to Illustrate the Application of the Greatest Commandment
Imagine of Sarah who is deeply committed to her faith. She attends religious services regularly, prays diligently, and follows all the religious traditions.
However, her interactions with others in her community reflect impatience, judgment, and a lack of compassion.
One day, Sarah encounters a neighbor, John, who is going through a challenging time. Instead of offering support and understanding, Sarah responds with indifference and a critical attitude.
She may be fulfilling the religious rituals and expressions of faith, but she falls short in loving her neighbor as herself.
One day during mass she hears the homily on the Gospel passage about the greatest commandment and realizes the need for a transformative shift in her approach.
She begins to see that genuine love for God involves expressing that love through her actions towards others. Sarah starts reaching out to John, offering a listening ear, practical assistance, and genuine empathy.
As Sarah’s love for God extends to her love for John, their relationship begins to transform. The practical assistance and compassionate support Sarah provides become a living expression of the love she claims to have for God.
Through her actions, Sarah becomes a conduit for God’s love, tangibly embodying the teachings of Jesus.
This example illustrates how the greatest commandment is not just about religious observance but about the practical, day-to-day expressions of love in our relationships.
It challenges us to consider whether our faith is making a positive impact on the way we treat those around us, especially when they are in need.
In summary, living out the greatest commandment involves integrating our love for God with genuine love and compassion for our neighbors.
It’s not merely about what we profess but about how our faith is evident in our actions, fostering positive change and creating a more loving and harmonious community.
Prayer: Lord God, we love You with all our hearts, mind, and soul. We ask You to give us the strength and will to continue loving our neighbours as ourselves, despite all the brutality, persecution, hatred, jealousy, and malice that we receive from them daily. May we not seek revenge because we place all these burdens unto Your able hands. Jesus, I love you. Amen.
Bible Verse of the Day in Pictures
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