O Jesus, I want to love you with all my heart and soul.
Picture Jesus with the crowd while he speaks with this good-willed scribe.
This scribe is not hostile. His question is sincere. In response, Jesus quotes the great prayer which the scribe himself recited each day. His Jewish faith had brought him close to the Kingdom.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
One of the scribes asked Jesus, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied: “This is the first: ‘Hear, O Israel. The Lord our God is Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your whole heart and all your whole soul and all your mind and all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. The second is like to it. ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There are no other commandments greater than these.”
The scribe said to Jesus, “Excellent teacher, you are right in saying, ‘He is one and there is no other than he. Yes, to love him with all our heart and all our mind and all our soul and all our strength and to love our neighbor as ourself is worth more than any burnt offering and sacrifice.’
Jesus approved his answer and told him, “You are not far from the reign of God.” And no one had the courage to ask him any more questions.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- This scribe comes with a docile spirit. His question is fair and he accepts Jesus’ answer.
- To emphasize the total consecration to God, the Jews use many images – heart, mind, will, strength.
- Jesus adds a second commandment, love for neighbor.
- In these two commandments, Jesus sums up his whole Gospel.
- The scribe agrees that loving God and neighbor are more important than even temple sacrifices.
- The scribe is close to the Kingdom. Now, he needs to believe that Jesus is Messiah and Lord.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, give me a docile spirit and a heart eager for your word.
- I consecrate myself to you – heart and mind, soul and strength. Anything less is unworthy of you.
- O Jesus, when you enter my heart, you bring my neighbor. I must love everyone.
- You preached love, even to your death on the cross.
- Let my love be a total immolation.
- O Jesus, I choose you. You are the bridegroom of my soul.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will set aside time today for God alone.
+ I will love my neighbor in thought, word and deed.