Love or Burnt Offering

Friday, March 18, 2022

Gospel, Mark 12:28-34

28 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?’ 29 Jesus replied, ‘This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one, only Lord, 30 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. 31 The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.’ 32 The scribe said to him, ‘Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true, that he is one and there is no other. 33 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.’ 34 Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ And after that no one dared to question him any more.

We are so good at burnt offering. It is way too easy to write a check to our favorite charity, put it in the mail, and think we have done well. It’s so much easier than taking the time for relationship – with God and with those in our world. But Mark tells us that this is not what God wants.

St. Teresa of Jesus says that we know we are making our way along the path when we begin to want what God wants. If we do the work of creating relationship with God and with others, we will be doing His will for us and this profoundly unites us to Him.

“But here the Lord asks only two things of us: love for His Majesty and love for our neighbour. It is for these two virtues that we must strive, and if we attain them perfectly we are doing His will and so shall be united with Him.”

St. Teresa of Jesus

Blessings on your Lenten Journey!

Cindy

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