Have you ever had one of those days? You know the kind where hypothetically, it’s Wednesday, but you’re convinced it’s Thursday? On those days, it's easy to become both lost and frustrated.
Just like we need a calendar to order our week, we need a foundation for our lives that the Scribe is looking for in today’s gospel.
The foundation that Jesus reminds us of today can be found in these two commandments. The first, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and l your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:5) And, then Jesus adds, “The second is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Leviticus 19:18)
Taking the first commandment, it’s not always easy to love God in the way we love a spouse, parent, or child. For we interact with them directly. We hear their voices with our ears, we speak words to them, receive a reassuring handshake or smile or hug. This challenge is something we can bring to prayer. We can pray for the grace to understand what it means to love God with all of our heart, soul, and might.
One author suggested that we can learn to love God with our all by praying with St. Ignatius’ “Suscipe” prayer. Listen to these words.
“Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty; my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. All I have and call my own. You have given to me. To you, Lord, I return it. Everything is yours; do with it what you will. Give me only your love and your grace, that is enough for me.”
My brothers and sisters, in these two commandments, Jesus grounds us in loving God above everything else and loving our neighbor as ourselves. But at times, we can find it hard to love others, because we struggle to love ourselves. We try to deal with our rough edges, and we strive to be humble. In the process, can feel like we are on empty with nothing to give. This is when we need to see ourselves as God does, someone, though imperfect, is loved unconditionally. It’s then that we have the understanding and reassurance that we can strive to live in love for God and each other, knowing of His love for us.
May God bless you and your family as we thank God for His love for us which allows us to love the people He places in our lives.
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About Father David Marcham
Reverend David S. Marcham is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Patrick Peyton, and Director of the Father Peyton Guild, whose members pray for Father Peyton’s beatification and spread his message of the importance of Family Prayer. Prior to becoming a seminarian, Father David was a physical therapist and clinical instructor, serving hospital inpatients and outpatients throughout the greater Boston area for eleven years. In 1998 he heard the call to priesthood and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2005. Father David grew up in Quincy, MA, and has fond memories of playing soccer, tennis and running track. You’re never without a friend when Father David is around, as he welcomes everyone into his circle with a smile on his face!