Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection March 08, 2024


Published on:

R/. I am the Lord your God: listen to my voice.

V/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ

R/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ

V/. Repent, says the Lord, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

R/. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

At that time: One of the scribes came up to Jesus and asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important 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 neighbour 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 besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbour 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 more questions.

1.      God constantly invites us to return from our path of iniquity to a consistent practice of fidelity. Once we turn away from evil and return to God, surely He will restore us to renewed dignity and prosperity.

2.      A life of such return is steered by the sole and supreme norm of love: love for God and love for the other. It is a love for God that is total and holistic. It includes all our faculties, energies and capacities. It is a love that is total and entire, “with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength”.

3.      There are no fractions or portions, no conditions or concessions. Further, it is a love for others which is like a pure love for the self. All other rules and directives are submerged into this twofold love

4.      The merit of this love-teaching of Jesus is that they are not just put together in one packing, but they are presented as one unified whole. It is a single love that is two-pronged. Thereby it is very clear that both are inseparable: one cannot pretend to practise one and fail in the other.

5.      A heart that loves God wholly would also make space for the other. Similarly, one who loves others cannot but be founded on God and be directed to Him. Now, the fundamental norm for loving God is totality, and no half-measures.

6.      And the norm for loving the other is the measure of self-love, because Jesus exhorts: love your neighbour AS yourself. Here, we need to remember that this self-love is not a self-centred or self-directed love. It is a healthy love for the self

7.      In so far our true self is created in the image and likeness of God, we need to love that real self and strive to rediscover and recapture it. Therefore, this self-love must not be equated with selfish love or self-gratification. It is a pure and productive love

8.      Even in the basic sense also, to love others as one’s own self can mean not to do evil or harm to others, not to lower the due esteem and respect. This twofold love surpasses everything else, even the merely spiritual activities.

Catholic Leaf is website that provides Sundays and Weekdays catholic reflections. Please use catholic leaf as a tool for preparing your Homily.