Thursday, March 15, 2012

Friday of the Third Week of Lent

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, "The first is, ´Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and 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.” And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he; and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one´s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any question.  (Mk 12:28-34)
Introductory prayer I believe in you Lord, and humbly ask you to deepen my faith. I trust in you Lord and persistently request that you lead me to trust you in unconditional and unquestioning fashion. Lord, I love you, may my love show itself in my deeds and attitudes. Fire my heart Lord, with the fire of your love and presence.
Petition  Lord, help me be a person of the essentials: to love you above all things and my fellow men as for myself. Convince me that, more than anything else, I must be a person who knows how to love.
1.The attitude of Jesus enemies and doubters: This Gospel passage is inspired by the enemies and doubters of Jesus who are trying to ensnare and test him, they want to know how he will respond to very difficult and subtle questions. Hence, opposition occasions some of Christ’s most profound teaching. Throughout it all, Jesus does not manifest anger nor does he rail his hearers for their hypocrisy. Rather he patiently answers theirs questions at face value, and makes use of the opportunity to teach and instruct with the hope that his listeners will have a change of heart. What is my attitude in the face of opposition? Am I like Christ, do I hold onto, reaffirm and explain what I believe? Does opposition help my conviction to grow stronger?

2. Love is the heart of the law:  Above and beyond all laws, Christ proclaims the law of love supreme. It is the fulfillment of all law, and the supreme commandment. Later at the Last Supper, he will tell his disciples that this is new commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Christ not only teaches it, he applies it at the very moment he teaches it. His attitude toward his antagonistic listeners reveals this.
3. After that, no one dared to ask him any questions: Christ defeated his enemies and their snares by the power of truth and charity. The only way to completely vanquish an enemy is by subduing his power and arms. The hatred and conniving of the Pharisees and Sadducees finds resolution in Christ’s persistence and patience.
Dialogue with Christ Lord Jesus, teach me by your example. Help to imitate your attitude and never shrink or retreat in the face of opposition. Teach me persistence and patience.
Resolutions: 1) Patience with those who don’t agree with me, 2) Bearing the consequences that follow from believing in the truth.

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