One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
Which is the first of all the commandments?
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.
— Mark 12:28-34
The peace of the Lord be with you. Bishop Barron once said that one way to define orthodox is well ordered — that things are in their proper place and priority. To be orthodox then, implies living a well-ordered life.
Today, the words Jesus gives us describe what a well ordered life looks like. First we are to love God above all else, and second is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. What a simple formula: love God, love you, love me.
Sadly, as more and more people fail to recognize and do not form a relationship with God, society drifts further away from this simple formula resulting in destruction on so many levels. As cliche as this may sound to our modern world, God is the solution to all that divides, hurts, and plagues us.
May the good things we do be inspired by our love of God and neighbor; may they offer hope, healing, and lead people back — or introduce them to — the love God has for each of us. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.