Friday, February 29, 2008

God's Twofer

In today's Gospel, Jesus sums up the whole Bible in "two great commandments." (He was, technically, only asked for one!) Outside of these two (or single, twofold), all of our religious practices amount to nothing but a collection of extrinsic acts: all we can come up with on our own. But "the love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit," so that we can "love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength, and our neighbor as ourselves."
This passage (Mark's version) was Bl. James Alberione's inspiration, too. Even before founding a single congregation or organization, he rejoiced to think of people who would give their lives to the love of God and neighbor, happy to earn the "divine salary" of eternal life. When he wanted to express the core of Pauline spirituality, he put it in the language of today's Gospel. When he wanted to detail what it meant to live in Jesus, he specified that it meant loving God with "all your mind, all your heart, all your strength." That's what God is looking for, and that's where grace intends to lead us.

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