We express our Love for God by loving his other children.


Sunday, 11/4/12

There are two seemingly small details in today’s Gospel that are of importance. First, I’d like to mention the detail from the end of the passage; and then I’d draw attention to a detail two-thirds of the way through the passage.

The important detail from the end of the passage is hidden in the words, “No one dared to ask him any more questions.” What is important about that is that after  this interchange with the scribe Jesus cut off public discussions. Something about the scribe’s statement showed Jesus that he needed to do no more probing.

Two-thirds of the way through the passage the scribe gave an answer that Jesus found most satisfying. Let me explain. The scribe began the exchange with Jesus with his question, “Which is the first of all commandments?” Jesus answered by quoting the commandment from Deuteronomy that dealt with loving God completely. But, then, Jesus said there is a second commandment that is like the first: the one about loving our neighbor.

The most important detail in the passage comes with the way scribe agreed with Jesus about the first commandment. He repeated Our Lord’s words; but we must note that the scribe didn’t repeat Our Lord’s words exactly. No, Jesus had recited the commandments for loving God and neighbor as two separate commandments; but the scribe linked them together as the one first commandments.

When Jesus heard the scribe linking love of God and love of neighbor as a single commandment, he gave up all probing. He was satisfied that someone had finally got the point, which is that the way to express our love for God is by showing love for his other children.

In his First Letter St. John repeatedly asserted that the way to love God is for us to  love one anther. He wrote “Anyone who says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother is a liar. Anyone who does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

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