Thursday 4th June 2020
9th week in ordinary time year II
2 Timothy 2:8-15, Mark 12:28-34
There is hardly any Christian who has come of age that cannot recite the Lord's prayer (Our Father). Children right from nursery and primary school are even thought to memorize it. This is also how every Jew who has come of age is requested to recite what is known as the Shema Israel twice a day. It is contained in deuteronomy 6:4-5 which states, 'Listen, Israel: Yahweh our God is the one, the only Yahweh, you must love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength'. It was therefore required for a Jew to remind himself of the fact that he is called to love God everyday.
When a scribe came to Jesus in the gospel reading of today to ask him of the first of all the commandments, Jesus who was also a Jew, recited the Shema Israel to him. Nevertheless, as soon as he finished, he told him that loving God is the first commandment, but the very next to it is loving our brothers and sisters. No law is greater than the law of love. Even the 10 commandments are about love of God and neighbours. The first three are for God, and the other seven are for our neighbours.
We therefore cannot be Christians if we do not show our love to our neighbours. We cannot claim to love God who we cannot see and treat one another harshly. We should not forget that we are created in the image and likeness of God. If we love God, we will love ourselves. God help us. Amen.
Fr Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie MSP