A Thought from the Bishop's Chapel - Friday, March 20

To love God with our all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves is the greatest commandment (Mark 12:30-31). It would be difficult to find anyone to disagree with this, although I am sure we could. While we agree with it, do we understand the commandment enough to practice it? When the scribe in the Gospel embraces the commandment "with understanding," Jesus commends him and says, "You are not far from the kingdom of God" (Mark 12:34). Much depends on "understanding."

"Understanding" this commandment means we are ready to put it into practice in our lives. "Understanding" means we will put aside our own opinions and preferences and acknowledge a higher goal which may require some patience with others and ourselves. Above all, "understanding" the greatest of commandments means we take it seriously. It is not just a pious thought. It is a rule of life. "The Lord our God is Lord alone!" (Mark 12:29), and our neighbor reflects God's goodness and grandeur. In recognizing, in "understanding" this, we draw closer to the kingdom of God.