Total Pageviews

Friday, November 2, 2012




      What is the most important thing in the world to you at this very moment?   What keeps you going?  What is the most important reason of your existence?  To whom do you live for? These are the present translations of the question of the scribe to Jesus in our gospel this Sunday.
      To the Jews, following God’s commandments was the reason of their being (raison d’etre).  That is why the Shema Israel (Dt. 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord alone; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.”) had been the most important prayer which reminded the Jews to love God with their whole being.  To assure them of fulfilling the law, the religious leaders expanded the Ten Commandments into 613 negative and positive laws.  When Jesus came, He introduced something new, that is He brought the law back to its basics.  For Jesus, the law was about love which was expressed equally in two ways: love of God and love of neighbour.
      The reason of our being defines our priorities in life.  If the most important thing in life is our family, then our priority is the wellbeing of our spouse, children and other members of our family.  If the most important thing for me is my health, then my priorities will be a healthy lifestyle and to eat healthy food.  If my education or career is of prime importance to me, then I will do my best to excel in class to get a medal or promotion in  job.  Some people have dedicated their lives for a noble cause for the good of humanity while others simply want to excel in a particular field like science, sports, medicine, research, technology, etc. There are those who safeguard their religion to the point of even killing other people who pose a threat to their belief. There are also countless men and women who gave up their lives to God through a life of prayer, mission or contemplation.
      We may not be aware but the underlying reason to all these passion is a pulsating energy called love.  It is the drive that impels us to embrace a life beyond the boundaries of our mind.  Love is inherent in each person because we were created out of love by God who is Love Himself.   When I was a little boy, the first lesson I learned in my catechism class was: Why did God create us?  There are three reasons: 1) so that we will know Him, 2) love Him and 3) be with Him in eternity.   True enough the Shemah Israel is a calling not just to the Israelites but to all of us to return back that love to the one Who loved us first hence the first commandment for us to love God.  Then why do we have to love our neighbour? Simply because God loves him/her the way He loves us whether he/she is our spouse, a family member, a friend, an enemy or a stranger.  But loving another person should find its reason in God so we say “I love you for the sake of God and because God loves you, too.”  When we are able to do this, God has truly incarnated Himself as Love once again. Then love transcends beyond blood relations, colour, race, religion or belief.
      St. Augustine reminds me of this beautiful reality: “God loves me as if I am the only person in the whole world; He likewise loves others the way He loves me.”  If each one of us has a reason of being, then the only reason of being for God is LOVING US!

No comments:

Post a Comment