REFLECTION FOR THURSDAY OF THE 9TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
(2 Tim 2:8-15; Mk 12:28-34)
1.0. The Order of Love
Love is as real as it is elusive. We have a strong passion to love as well as to hate! It is generally acclaimed that the language of love is universal, yet we never can fully understand what it says. However, if we listen in meditation to the discussion between Jesus and the Scribe, we shall see how love is concrete or instituted. It is the human will or desire, which is in motion that makes love appear elusive.
Before now, the Pharisees and the Herodians came to test Jesus with Ceasar’s coin. Afterwards, the Sadducees arrived to ridicule the resurrection. Today the Scribes, who seemed to be the more educated, questioned Him about the greatest commandment. Jesus was pleased with this question, and He answered immediately that the first and greatest commandment is to love the one Lord and God with all of one’s heart, soul, mind and strength. “The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself.” The numbering is important if we are to grasp the language of love. God comes first; He is the source and destination of love. But where does human love reside?
2.0. The Soul of Love
Love is in the human heart, soul, mind and strength (flesh). Notice that love is not in words! But words can express what is in the silence of the heart, soul, mind and strength. When all our heart, soul, mind and strength are in touch with the love of God, then the whole person is taken up in love with God. Thus every other commandment will fall in place since all aspects of the person cannot go contrary to the love in which it dwells. The love of God is a consuming fire! (Cf. Heb 12:29). Therefore, to love my neighbour as I make me a means to pass on God’s love to my neighbour. We see here how love is structured and instituted in the human person in so far as he is suspended from the love of God.
Meditating further on the discussion between Jesus and the Scribe, we come to understand that love is devotion. It is the rendering of all principles of our existence first to God, and secondly, the communication of the whole self to our neighbour. Hence, we cannot claim to love if our hearts and soul are not involved. True love must be related to peace of soul. And lovers continue to speak to each other even in silence! That is why the greatest means of speaking to God is through contemplative prayer. Love in the soul is the soul of love.
3.0. The Glory of Love
“When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, ‘You are not far from the Kingdom of God.’” Love is like the cloud of heavenly glory that envelops us and our neighbour in God. It is a taste of God’s kingdom. That is why we must never use love to deceive or hurt anyone since God is love. Such hurt cries to God for vengeance! Abuse of love begins when one cuts himself off from the love of God through sin and worldly life. But he who dwells in love dwells in God (1 Jn 4:16). If we are true to God, our love will be true. Then we see that love is not elusive but has a solid root in God, with authentic expression in our neighbour.
Lift your heart to God today; let your soul savour the sweetness of God’s presence. Love God with a human heart; feel this energy of divine glory within you. Pause in meditation; be silent and imagine the beauty of God’s love for you. Put aside the worries of life for a moment, and let your heart, mind and soul fly to God’s love for you. Then step forward and show some acts of love to those around you. For “If we have died with Him, we shall also live with Him; if we endure with, we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He also will deny us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful—for He cannot deny Himself.”
Fr. Jude Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Thursday, June 4th, 2020.