Our first love MARK 12:28–34
A couple weeks ago I was out with my sister and some friends and we saw a couple walking by, holding hands. My sister then remarked, “Do you see them? That relationship is definitely still new.” You could see from their body language and their smiles when looking at each other that they were enamoured of each other. That new love and new relationship spark was still there.
Unfortunately, as time passes many relationships move beyond this stage and though we may still love our partners, the spark that once existed isn’t as readily visible. We continue to extend nice gestures and include spending time with each other in our daily routine but the love we shared at first isn’t quite there.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is reminding us not to forget our first love—Him! We are implored to love God with every fibre of our being, our hearts, our souls, our minds and our strength.
Do you remember how you felt when you first had an encounter with Jesus Christ? Can you recall the thirst and passion you had to know Jesus and be in relationship with Him?
This commandment to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength is a call to be steadfast in pursuing an intimate and passionate relationship with the Lord all our lives in spite of the busyness of life and the ease with which we can become lax in our maintenance of intentional relationships.
As members of a dynamic faith with so many beautiful and meaningful traditions, devotions and practices, we may at times get caught up in these rituals and get distracted from the One to whom we are directing these acts of worship.
Don’t get me wrong, developing positive habits of attending Mass, praying the rosary daily etc ought to be encouraged but if we are not lifting our hearts and minds to God during these moments, a lot is left to be desired.
The Gospel reading says that we must love God more than we love the rituals and offerings we make to Him and that our love of Christ and our neighbour is worth more than these. We must love the giver of the gift more than we love the gift and our frequenting of these practices really ought to flow out of this love for God.
To me, this is also a sort of parallel to the discourse on faith and good works. Good works are important and essential, for we know without them faith is dead, but they must emanate from our love of God and neighbour. What is primary here is our faith just as what is said to be primary in this Gospel passage is our love.
Jesus, help us to be absolutely enamoured for You. May we also love our neighbours as You have loved us and be intentional in all our relationships. In this time of relief efforts in our country, inspire within our hearts a desire to reach out to others, loving our neighbours as ourselves and may we never forget the love we had for you at first.
The Gospel Meditations for November are by Khadine Bovell, a parishioner of St Joseph RC, St Joseph who serves as an assistant coordinator in the Youth Choir and a teacher-in-training with BOMA-TT.