One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, 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.” (Mark 12:28-34)
Jesus echoes the Old Testament, reminding his followers that the words of Moses are still the greatest calling: to love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. He adds, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Truly, these commandments say it all. If we all truly lived these two commandments there would be peace among us. Families would enjoy abundant love, a taste of the kingdom of heaven on earth. We cannot control the world, we can only be a light among the darkness. Teaching your children these commandments and loving the Lord your God every time you give your heart, soul, mind and strength for your family—that is how you will change the world. Every time you teach your child to love when he doesn’t feel like loving, to forgive as he wants to be forgiven, you are giving them the tools to follow Christ and to bring Christ’s love into the world. As you pour out your life and love with all of yourself, your children will respond and it will draw them to the One who loved us all first.
PRAYER: Lord, help me to truly love you each day, in each challenge, with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength. May I truly love my children and all of those around me as I love myself and may I point all those around me to you and to your great, transformative love. AMEN