June 2, 2016 – Thursday in the 9th Week of the Church Year

“Scratchpad Reflections” are daily meditations on the scripture readings for the date noted and are written by Dominican Brother Daniel Thomas to help readers gain a deeper understanding of the daily liturgies and Masses of celebration. Here is the reflection for:

June 2, 2016 – Thursday in the 9th Week of the Church Year

Saints for the day: Marcellinus and Peter (d. 304)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

2 Timothy 2:8-15     –     Psalm 25     –     Mark 12:28-34

nursing“You shall love the Lord your God with all your strength and you neighbor as yourself.” {Today’s Holy Gospel according to Mark)

 If a Jew, in the time of Jesus, only knew one scripture passage it would have to be, “Shema Israel” – “Hear O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your strength. The second is this: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”  (Mark 12:29-30)

 The bottom line of today’s Holy Gospel would have to be along the lines: “our God is the perfection of everything and He needs nothing to be added as long as we love Him with all our strength. Most of us wouldn’t bulk at this commandment on first hearing. But, many of us aren’t totally committed with all our strength. Part of our hesitation probably comes when we actually take to heart the second part: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” That part really puts us out there in the open where we don’t always have control of who we want to call our neighbor. That’s the crux for most of us, which really thwarts our ability to be one with God. If we can’t see something good in that jerk that is always nearby, how can we say that we love God – who we can’t see – with all our strength?

I often tell people who are coming to “Ash Wednesday” services “Don’t only think in terms of giving up something. It would be better if you tried doing something positive for that person who bugs you in some way or other. Nothing big. Just some little gesture that begins to change you more than it changes the other. I remember a time when I went with ASU students to visit a nursing home during Lent. One young man was part of the group and had a good way with the shut-in’s. At the end of Lent, when he didn’t show up anymore, I asked him if he would join us again. I was very surprised at his response: “Brother, I did that during Lent because I have such a hard time dealing with older people. It was all I could do to go each week.” When I told him that one of the older people asked about him “because he brought them such a gift of joy” he could hardly believe it was the truth. It just goes to show you how powerful a gift a presence and caring can be when someone feels so alone. “There is no greater commandment than these. Amen!”


June 2, 2016 – Thursday in the 9th Week of the Church Year — 1 Comment

  1. Br. Daniel. Thank you for your reflection. MS

    “Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself.”

    St. Francis de Sales

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