Not only are those the convictions revealed by scripture. Jesus, the revelation of our triune God in flesh and blood, identified himself with this command of our God and its convictions. Mark’s first hearers would have heard Jesus’ perfect loyalty to God and Israel. It brought Jesus and the scribes closer than ever in his mounting debate with them near the close of his ministry. The scribe we heard question Jesus made that clear when he answered Jesus, “Well said, Teacher...You are right in saying that the Lord is One and no other...And to love the Lord with all your heart...understanding…strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself’ is the most worthy worship.
Clarity about convictions, though, does not erase our need to make decisions as we live our lives as Christians day to day. Our decisions include:
- Who is one’s neighbor?
- How do we understand love?
- How do we maintain the link between our God, our neighbors as well as the non-human members of our God’s creation?
- Do we have a deepening felt knowledge that glorifying God by our lives between masses is truly worship, one which is better than any of our devotions?
- Begin by giving loving praise to our one God in three Persons.
- Ask Mary and the saints to present you to Jesus.
- Chat with Jesus: praise him for the gifts Jesus lavishes on you each day to help you walk more closely with Jesus. Offer our High Priest whatever causes you to resist his invitation to share his faithful, loving concern for others.
- Ask Jesus to help you love with greater singleness of heart our God, our neighbors and all created things in which our God acts for us.
- Close saying slowly the Lord’s Prayer. To pray slowly his prayer we know so well engages heart, understanding and strength. When the three are engaged, they make us more agile and affectionate lovers with Jesus of others and all creation. That, after all, is most worthy worship!
- Constitution on the Liturgy, #56, of the Second Vatican Council.
- The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, Third Typical Edition, #90c [the conclusion of its Chapter 2].