The first section is a short Reading from this evenings divine office, I am adding in the first two verses
1 My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. 2 He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.
1 John 2:3-6
The Greatest Commandment
St. Mark 12:28-30
28One of the scribes,i when he came forward and heard them disputing and saw how well he had answered them, asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?”
29 Jesus replied,“The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! 30bYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’j
Turning ourselves over to God is a lot more than going to church on Sunday. It requires; patience, understanding, compassion, forgiveness and love – of ourselves. We are going to work through all of those emotions when we truly open our hearts and souls to God.
Jesus brings us to God – once we get there, it is our job to fully accept and allow God into our hearts, soul, mind and body. He is there now, inside of your being but for you to allow Him to grow. Nurture and Nourish your soul. Take some time to read about prayer and how to best go about it for yourself. Study your Bible.
St. Mark 12:31-34
31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, ‘He is One and there is no other than he.’ 33And ‘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.” 34And 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.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself”.
Do you love yourself? Do you think positive things about yourself, your intellect, appearance, actions?
Do you believe God loves you?
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son, whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.
God is part of us, as we are His children. The more we allow ourselves to grow in Him, the more He grows within our souls. Yes – we are walking around with God in us. Do you respect that?
When we love ourselves, we are loving God in part too. When we realize this we are better able to really love everyone that we encounter, not just our family or friends – we learn to be more patient in kind to the harried mom in front of us at the check out who’s baby is crying and two year old is pulling on her arm. Our love radiate can radiate out in a oneness with another. How would we like to be treated if dealing with crying kids? Smile at that mom, why not engage the two year old so mom can focus on the baby for a few minutes?
Or the new waiter at for favorite pizza place, its his first night and he spills water all over the table (and a bit on your leg)? Now he is scared of loosing a new job, after spilling water. Can you help the waiter clean up the spilled water and share a time when you made a mess with a glass (who – had – not?) – maybe slip him an extra dollar tip.
When your husband (wife) comes in late from work, on your anniversary with not so much as an “I Love You”, you feel crushed – right? Reach inside and pull out some of that good love and see how well that plays out for you. The husband who may be short on money, is short on time? Totally stressed about something (work? and ill parent?) that he did not have his focus on your marriage, but was a million miles away, would he really want to hurt you?
This one is more difficult, it really hurts to feel forgotten by your love. Your spouse is deep in your heart and soul. Take a few minutes alone, perhaps in the bathroom (it works) and have a few minutes with our Father. Ask our Lord for help and guidance. How the evening plays out is in your hands. Give him some space, let him talk. Then maybe walk over and give HIM a big hug, tell him you love him as much today as you did 8 years ago when you married him. His may be rendered speechless, but he will feel that love and that is what life is all about.
Love God, love and nurture your relationship with him as well as everyone you touch.
Love another as you would love yourself.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.