Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga, martyr, and his companions, martyrs
First Reading: 2 Timothy 2:8-15
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 25
Gospel: Mark 12:28-34
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, He is One and there is no other than he. And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And no one dared to ask him any more questions. (Mk 12:28-34)
Simplicity, couldn't we all use more of this in our lives? It seems as though we let our lives get so complicated that we lose sight of our basic purpose. Thankfully for us, the Lord keeps His ways simple. In today's gospel reading, we see that there is really only one thing that we need to do: Love the Lord God with all of our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength; and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Everything that we do in our lives should stem from this basic truth, we are called to love. It is really that simple.
We were made to love and to be loved, that is why we are here. Love, should be the basis for all that we do and all that we strive for. While our goal of loving God and others is a very simple instruction, it is not always the easiest. The fact is that we let things get in the way, we let sin and our own desires become speed bumps and detours away from love. We complicated things in our lives by moving away from this simple principle and by gravitating towards our own will. We need to always keep our main focus in mind and this simple principle of love at the forefront of our mind at all times. It is only by centering our lives around God and others that we truly find ourselves.
Love is the answer, love is our simple calling. While it is not always the easiest, it is always the most worth it.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you bless us with and for all that we are. Lord, you give us one simple instruction, and that is to love. Help us to truly love in our lives and to not only think of ourselves but rather to give our lives to you and others. Lord, you have sacrificed so much for us, help us to sacrifice for you and your glory. Help us to persevere in this life so that one day we can be with you in heaven. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.