Loving Jesus…in Many Ways!
Today’s Gospel selection begins with a probing question from one of the Scribes: “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus’ response flowed from his knowledge of the ancient Scriptures: love God with every dimension of your person — and love your neighbor as yourself.
A single question was asked by the scribe, an important one. Jesus’ answer combined two commandments of the Old Testament into one…thus stating that the two cannot be separated. We cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow human beings…as we love ourselves.
This encouragement on love comes at a special time in our calendar year: the month of June. These days of June have traditionally been days for many people to celebrate their commitments in marriage, or the ordination of those called to sacramental priesthood. This June 2015 is also part of the year-long celebration of Consecrated Life established by Pope Francis; religious men and women are invited to collaborate on service projects during the summer months, highlighting the special character of consecrated life. And for the Passionists of Holy Cross Province, we will gather June 10 – 16 in our Provincial Chapter to deepen our love of God, neighbor and self as we look to the future and consider our Passionist community life and ministries. The Church likewise celebrates the love of Jesus for us all in the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on Friday, June 12. Love!!
For each of us, Jesus’ words are a challenge to look deep in our hearts and reflect on the quality of our love. Is God first and foremost? Do we truly love our sisters and brothers? Even our love of self these days: do we truly care for our physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual well-being? No doubt, we each can deepen our love on all levels…and our pondering of the person of Jesus in the Scriptures, our reception of the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation can greatly help our love grow and be even more fruitful.
Jesus passionately loves each of us, and invites us to celebrate and grow in His love as we ponder his Sacred Passion and credibly live our vocations. May we be blessed these summer days!
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is the local leader of the Passionist community in Louisville, Kentucky.