The great commandment
Thursday, June 07, 2018
9th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 2Tim 2:8-15
Gospel: Mk 12:28–34
One of the teachers of the Law came up to Jesus and asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?”
Jesus answered, “The first is: Hear, Israel! The Lord, our God, is One Lord; and you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. And after this comes another one: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these two.”
The teacher of the Law said to him, “Well spoken, Master; you are right when you say that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all our heart, with all our understanding and with all our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves is more important than any burnt offering or sacrifice.”
Jesus approved this answer and said, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” But after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Jesus gave a rare commendation to a Teacher of the Law. Jesus must have found this man knowledgeable enough of the Love Commandment. But his commendation was calibrated. He said: “You are not far from the kingdom of God”. Knowledge of love brings us close to the kingdom. Only up to there. If we want to bring the kingdom in our midst we must do all things out of love.
Apropos of doing things out of love, I remember what happened years ago at a noontime television show that featured a six-year-old boy contestant. He was gyrating to the rhythm of a suggestive music. The host kept prodding the boy to gyrate some more. “May pa-luha-luha pa yan ha,” the host commented, “Parang sa pelikulang burlesque queen na umiiyak dahil ayaw ang ginagawa, pero kailangang gawin para sa pamilya”.
King Herod who also enjoyed the suggestive dance of the daughter of Herodias did not go to that extent (Mark 6:14-29). At least Herod promised the girl half of his kingdom. The show host only paid the boy ten thousand pesos. Why was that suggestive music chosen in the first place? They could have played the Black-eyed Peas’ “Where is the Love” so the boy could perform a dance more appropriate his age. Why was the boy paid only ten thousand? They could have raised the amount to one million pesos.
The boy did the macho dance to bring home more money for the family, while the show host allowed what was otherwise inappropriate because he knew this would pull up the show’s ratings. But the big difference was love. The boy did it for love of his family while the show host did it for the love of money. Which of the two was not far from the kingdom of God? – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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