Gospel Matthew 22: 34-40
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law tested him by asking,
"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
He said to him,
"You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."
Prayer: Breathe in me O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy, act in me O Holy Spirit, that my work too may be holy, draw my heart O Holy Spirit that I love all that is holy, strengthen me O Holy Spirit to defend all that is holy, guard me then O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen
1st Meditation Point
"You shall Love the Lord your God with all your heart..." When I listen to Jesus, His words sound so tender and merciful to me. He who is love commands me to love Him with all I've got. To love Him wholeheartedly is to love with all one's heart. What does a heart look like, that loves with its "all, that loves wholeheartedly"? Perhaps it looks away from self, which would mean it looks at the other, it is therefore, selfless. When I listen to Jesus, the command to love God with "all my heart, soul and mind" lies within my capacity. I don't have to acquire a different heart, rather I need to love Him with all I have in my heart, I need to love him unreservedly. The Lord already knows what my heart 'looks like', so he knows what my 'all' consists of. He knows my limitations, fears, brokenness, all the nicks and bruises on my heart over time, things I do not know how to rid myself of, and yes, even my sinfulness and poverty, and yet, He still desires my "all, my whole heart, mind and soul." He is commanding that I give it to Him. He did not say to us; "You shall love the Lord your God, with a perfectly loving heart, without stain, sin or flaw and with a brilliant and genius mind. No, he said: "You shall (will it) love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind." He is saying to us, to "Love God, with all that we've got at our disposal, both affectively (the movements of the heart) , spiritually (the interior life of my soul) and intellectually (with all the powers of knowing and understanding). Could it be, that until we give our whole hearts to Him, our entire being to Him, freely, He cannot and will not take it from us. He is waiting for us to give it to him, this transformation of our heart, can only occur when we render it over to him, completely.
"Where all is given, nothing is lacking." (St Bernard)
2nd Mediation Point
If we use an apple as an analogous symbol, we give what we have, and that is giving all.
This 'ordering of one's heart' requires focus. and resolve (an act of the will.) Quite often we give pieces of our hearts to lesser 'gods' such as pleasures without right limits, addictions, attachments to money, power, control, people's opinions of us-prestige, and sinful patterns, in other words SELF. If we are not careful, these lesser gods, ie idols, will eat away at our hearts, until we have very little left for God.
What makes a 'wholehearted gift of one's love to God except surrendering everything else that is usurping His rightful place in our hearts? God wants us to Love Him above all other loves because, we will be the happiest if our heart is ordered this way. We will be free, peaceful and joyful if our heart is all in His possession. Its a great mystery, that is surrendering all to Him, we are filled to brim.
I remember some time ago, while on retreat a priest preached on detachment - that surrendering of the lesser gods, in order to possess the One True God- He said its the fastest way to Joy, Peace, Fullness! No truer words.
"Fundamentally every choice of the heart bears spiritual significance, because every human act embodies an interior commitment for or against a personal relationship with God. We must be vigilant about the direction we are moving. Thoughts that remain full of self love and self preoccupation are not of God. The desires that God instills in us, move us beyond ourselves."
Question: To Whom or what am I giving my heart? What direction am I heading? Towards God or towards self?
Prayer: O Let me love you, O heart of Jesus, O let me love you , daily more and more. Amen