Word for Word 10/31/18

Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg
Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg

For your meditation: Deuteronomy 6: 2-6, Hebrews 7:23-28, Mark 12:28-34

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today.”

The words come from Moses, the greatest of all the Old Testament leaders. It’s the main point of the reading from Deuteronomy.

Take a look at the gospel by Mark. One of the scribes (apparently one of the few sincere ones) came to Jesus and asked Him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “This is the first,” and he quotes from Moses, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.” And Jesus adds that this is the second, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”

We have got to take a good hard look at this:

Do I love God with all that I am?
Do I love Him more than my new van? Or my new truck, or my new combine?
Do I love Him more than playing baseball, football or basketball?
Do I love Him more than a good beer and a good steak?
Do I love Him more than I do all my Nintendo games?
Do I love Him more than money?
Do I love Him more than life itself?

Jesus connects the Second Commandment to the first. Loving your neighbor just as you love yourself is part of loving God with all your heart, soul and strength. The story of the Good Samaritan and the vision of the Last Judgment where you enter heaven if you’ve clothed your neighbor, fed the poor, given a cool drink to someone who’s thirsty, visited the sick, those in prison, etc., definitely tell us this without a doubt.

Do I love my neighbor (that includes everyone) just as much as I love myself? This is it, the core, the bedrock core of our Christian religion.

Let’s spend at least a few minutes thinking about it.

Did you hear the story of the farm family that had so many children that they ran out of names? So they started calling the children after something around the farm. It was September 1 and the first day the children had gone to their new school. The teacher greeted the children and asked each child their name. When the teacher got to one of the farmer’s sons, the boy replied, “Wagon Wheel.” The teacher said, “I need your real name young man.” To which the boy replied, “It’s Wagon Wheel.” “Really,” the teacher rather annoyed replied, “All right young man, take yourself right down to the principal’s office this minute.” The youngster pushed himself out of the chair, turned to his sister and said, “C’mon Chicken Feed, he ain’t going to believe you either.”

Msgr. Ed Lechtenberg
Lansing

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