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Friday of the Third Week of Lent

Scriptural Readings: Hosea 14:2-10; Psalm 81:6C-8A, 8BC-9, 10-11AB, 14, 17; Mark 12:28-34

My dear encountered couples:

Imagine having to be commanded to love. How can anyone be forced to love? They can’t. Love must be freely given, if not it isn’t really love. If it is forced it is more like slavery, intended only to get the job done.

Real concern and care for others must be the result of personal choice. Then why does Jesus say that the first of all the commandments is to love God with our entire beings and that the second is to love our neighbors as ourselves? I guess he wants to get our attention.

A good way to get someone’s attention is to order him to do something and warn him of the consequences if he doesn’t. Since we have been created in the image and likeness of God, love is absolutely vital to our existence. If we don’t love, then we don’t really live. And there will be no chance of happiness.

God is Love. And if we aren’t people of love, we might as well hang up all our hopes for anything pleasant. To capture our attention and get across this necessary information, Jesus commands us to love.

Jesus congratulated the scribe who already said he knew this. And he told him, “You are not far from the reign of God.” What Jesus was saying was, “Okay, good for you. You know the answer to happiness. Now, find out what love really is and practice it, live it, become it. Then you’ll be reigning with God.” We know the answer too, don’t we.

May we really grow to understand it, and then live it with the entire approval of our hearts.


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