The Gospel Today
Friday of the Third Week of Lent
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.
Reflection (Sem. Tommy Gawain Lira):
Memorizing the commandment does not always guarantee that the person is already living it. It takes someone to learn by heart the message and fully understand it so that living the commandment to love comes easy.
As a disciple of Christ, he expects us to become a living witness to what we believe, a living witness to our faith. It requires us to be an example more than words. Words that express not just an idea or concept, not just acting on our knowledge, but living words that can be seen and exemplified truly a disciple of Christ.
In reality, it is not easy to express the commandment to love especially when we feel uncomfortable. Our feelings most often dictate and choose only what is satisfying and discard the possibility of pain and suffering being demanded when we choose to love. Our choice to follow the Lord needs a humbling self to be able to do what we believe. Every choice we make is a response to God who loves us first. No matter what it cost, no matter what we feel, we must learn to be lovers as God expects us to be.
We don’t need to go far to find someone who needs our love. In our community, in the office, in our family, or the person beside you perhaps would love to hear your story of faith.
Jesus is the ultimate lover. If we want to enter into a deep relationship with him, we must learn from Him, we must learn to love. Because it is only when we truly grasped the extent of God’s love to us, that we are able to love and become a living witness of that love to others.
We ask the Lord in our prayer for the grace to be lovers not only in good times, in good moments but also in times when we don’t feel like loving.