Dear Sisters and Brothers,
“To love the Him (God) with all your heart…and to love your neighbor as yourself, is far more important than any holocaust or sacrifice.” These words are uttered by a scribe who asked Jesus a question about the greatest commandment. Of course, the commandment to love God with all we are and have is taken from the book of Deuteronomy and is uttered by Moses to the Chosen People. Jesus, the new Moses, repeats the commandment to the scribe as if to say that that commandment is not new, and nothing is greater than that.
Notice that when the scribe responded to Jesus reference to Deuteronomy, Jesus tells him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” This is an important message: To know that to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves as being more important than any offering and sacrifice is not all that there is to entering the Kingdom. The knowledge brings us near, but not actually in the kingdom. To be there we have to live what we know. We have to actually love God, our neighbor and ourselves. Dare we really?
Fr. Clement Paul.