Thursday, March 27, 2014
Friday Third Week of Lent
March 28, 2014
Friday Third Week of Lent
Hos 14: 2-10 / Ps 81: 6c-8a, 8bc-9, 10-11ab, 14 and 17 / Mk 12: 28-34
Reading: Hos 14: 2-10
Return to your God Yahweh, O Israel! Your sins have caused your downfall. Return to Yahweh with humble words. Say to him, "Oh you who show compassion to the fatherless forgive our debt, be appeased. Instead of bulls and sacrifices, accept the praise from our lips. Assyria will not save us: no longer shall we look for horses nor ever again shall we say 'Our gods' to the work of our hands." I will heal their wavering and love them with all my heart for my anger has turned from them. I shall be like dew to Israel like the lily will he blossom. Like a cedar he will send down his roots; his young shoots will grow and spread. His splendor will be like an olive tree, his fragrance, like a Lebanon cedar. They will dwell in my shade again, they will flourish like the grain, they will blossom like a vine, and their fame will be like Lebanon wine. What would Ephraim do with idols, when it is I who hear and make him prosper? I am like an ever-green cypress tree; all your fruitfulness comes from me.
Who is wise enough to grasp all this? Who is discerning and will understand? Straight are the ways of Yahweh: the just walk in them, but the sinners stumble.
Gospel: Mk 12: 28-34
A teacher of the Law had been listening to this discussion and admired how Jesus answered them. So he came up and asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" Jesus answered, "The first is: Hear, Israel! The Lord, our God, is One Lord; and you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. And after this comes a second commandment: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these two." The teacher of the Law said to him, "Well spoken, Master; you are right when you say that he is one, and there is no other besides him. To love him with all our heart, with all our understanding and with all our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves is more important than any burnt offering or sacrifice. Jesus approved this answer and said, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
A complex or lengthy subject matter becomes easier to understand and distill when stated in a simple, summarizing statement. The teacher's question to Jesus seemed to be a sincere effort to try to understand the complexities of Jewish laws and regulations. And so to the question, "Which commandment is the first of all?" Jesus gives a direct and simple answer and summary: There is only one Lord and God. Love Him "with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself." These are the two greatest commandments.
God created us out of love and for no other reason. In fact, sin made man very unlovable but God did not give up on us and still accepts and loves us, faults and all, except for sin. It is only right that we love Him back with all our being: our whole heart, soul, mind and strength. Jesus also tells us to go beyond our self-love and love our neighbor as ourselves.
Love is the foundation of everything that's good. We build this foundation by loving God and our neighbors. We show our love for God not just through words but by caring for and taking care of others. Lord, help me learn to love You and others as you love: unconditionally and with a generous and compassionate heart for service and sacrifice.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
... for families who are in need of healing.
... for world peace and reconciliation.
... for personal intentions
* Alyce Gail Arejola and co-examinees (for clarity of mind, enlightenment and wisdom in the preparations for and taking of subspecialty exams on March 27-28)
* Mike Torres and all his prayer intentions
* Camille Torres
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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