June 2, 2016 (Mark 12:28-34)

Today’s Gospel is the famous section where Jesus tells the Scribe what the greatest commandment is. He quotes the “Shema” from Deuteronomy: “You shall love the Lord Your God…” But, he adds a second to it from Leviticus about loving your neighbor. “All the Law and the Prophets depend on this,” He says. By quoting the “Shema” everyone would agree, but He adds the second commandment, not that they are one and the same (“identical”) but that are “equivalent” in importance. We can run into problems when we put too much emphasis on one or the other. They have to be held in tension. If we put too much emphasis on love of God, we can miss being charitable to our neighbor. If we put too much emphasis on love of neighbor, we can neglect our relationship to God.

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