Tobit 6:10-11; 7:1bcde, 9-17; 8:4-9a
Love & Marriage…Love!!
The month of June is known for weddings, and some say that an ideal marriage is "made in heaven". Today’s 1st reading recalls the marriage of Tobiah and Sarah, made on earth — but also "made in heaven" as an answer to Sarah’s prayer. Theirs was a long and happy marriage.
Tobiah was grateful for his lovely wife and their mutual love; on their wedding night he prayed with her the beautiful prayer which is the last part of today’s 1st reading. In it they praised and thanked God for joining together a man and woman in marital love. This prayer is today used by some couples as a reading for their wedding Mass.
Today’s Gospel recalls that all true love is of God. The scribe’s question prompted Jesus to share a teaching that has challenged and inspired all of us: love God totally, and love your neighbor as you love yourself. Jesus points out that you can’t separate love of God and love of neighbor and love of self; each flows from and interacts with the others. It was these words of Jesus which inspired St. Vincent de Paul to say, "I have a single sermon but I twist it a thousand ways".
Each of us, by our vocation, preaches a sermon on God’s love. Today’s readings invite us to reflect more deeply upon our lives: our motivation, our resources and limitations, the reality of fruitfulness of life and love, and the centrality of faith. The "first commandment", articulated in Jesus’ words and deeds, guides and enriches our reflection.
May Jesus speak to us as he did to the scribe (with whom Jesus was most likely impressed): "…you are not far from the Kingdom of God."
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the local leader of the Passionist community in Louisville, Kentucky.