Daily Gospel Reflection – Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
June 7, 2023
Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mk 12:28-34
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, "Which is the first of all the commandments?" Jesus replied, "
The first is this: Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
The second is this:
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."
The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, He is One and there is no other than he. And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God." And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, the Lord says that the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself.
Love is not primarily a feeling or an instinct; rather, it is the act of willing the good of the other as other. It is radical self-gift, living for the sake of the other. To be kind to someone so that he might be kind to you, or to treat a fellow human being justly so that he, in turn, might treat you with justice, is not to love, for such moves are tantamount to indirect self-interest.
Truly to love is to move outside of the black hole of one’s egotism, to resist the centripetal force that compels one to assume the attitude of self-protection. But this means that love is rightly described as a “theological virtue,” for it represents a participation in the love that God is.
Since God has no needs, only God can utterly exist for the sake of the other. All of the great masters of the Christian spiritual tradition saw that we are able to love only inasmuch as we have received, as a grace, a share in the very life, energy, and nature of God.