REFLECTION FOR TODAY
March 12, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“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.” Mark 12:29-30.
Our gospel reference contains Jesus’ response when he was asked which is the greatest commandment. In His response, He simply repeated what every Jew knows: total love of God and neighbor matching love of oneself. we are called to love God with our whole being and to love our neighbor. this requires we put God first and others above our own wants and needs.
Why would you choose anything less than to love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, with ALL your soul, with ALL your mind, and with ALL your strength? Why would you choose anything less? Of course, we do choose many other things to love in life, even though Jesus is clear with this commandment.
The truth is that the only way to love others, and even to love ourselves, is to choose to love God with ALL we are. God must be the one and only focus of our love. But what’s amazing is that the more we do this, the more we realize that the love we have in our lives is the kind of love that overflows and overflows in superabundance. And it is this overflowing love of God that then pours forth on others.
Love is at the heart of our relationship with God and with own another. As we experience God’s love and deepen our knowledge of him. Our love for Him will grow. The fruit of our knowledge and experience of God’s love increases as we allow it to penetrate every facet of our lives. Indeed, it is in this measure that we know God’s love that we will be able to love our neighbor.
On the other hand, if we try to divide our loves by our own effort, giving God only part of our heart, soul, mind and strength, then the love we have for God cannot grow and overflow in the way God wants. We limit our capacity for love, and we fall into selfishness. Love of God is a truly amazing gift when it is total and all-consuming.
Each one of these parts of our lives are worth pondering and examining. Think about your heart and how you are called to love God with your heart. And how does this differ from loving God with your soul? Perhaps your heart is more focused on your feelings, emotions and compassion. Perhaps your soul is more spiritual in nature. Your mind loves God the more it probes the depth of His Truth, and your strength is your passion and drive-in life. Regardless of how you understand the various parts of your being, the key is that every part must love God in fullness.
Reflect, today, the ways in which you have been touched by God’s love. Take a a stock of all that He has done in and for you. Reflect upon the beautiful commandment of our Lord. It’s a command of love, and it is given to us not so much for God’s sake but for ours. God wants to fill us to the point of overflowing love. Why would we ever choose anything less?
Loving Lord, Your love for me is infinite and perfect in every way. I pray that I will learn to love You with every fiber of my being, holding nothing back, and to daily grow deeper in my love of You. As I grow in that love, I thank You for the overflowing nature of that love, and I pray that this love of You will flow into the hearts of those around me. Jesus, I trust in You.