The Great Rule of Love
Mark 12:28-34 The First Commandment
One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, ‘Which commandment is the first of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The first is, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 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.’ Then the scribe said to him, ‘You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that “he is one, and besides him there is no other”; 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”,—this is much more important than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices.’ When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’ After that no one dared to ask him any question.
For in life and in death, we see that love has no end. For we have a great high priest who has led the way to eternal life. Because he lives, we shall live also. In life and in death, we fear not the grave because of the promise of God’s love for us, beloved saints, adopted in the waters of baptism, we know that we have been given eternal love and eternal life. We are free to live in response to that love as we struggle against the world that is so often full of hate and evil. Showing the world that there is another way, a better way, grounded on this rule of love. Jesus taught us what it is like to say to the world, Hear O world, that God is love, and love is for all. Today we celebrate that truth written in our hearts as we continue to pass this teaching from one generation to another. Amen.