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The good news for the day June 2

Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time (356)

An educated man (a “scribe”) came to Jesus asking him, “Which is the first of all the rules?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: Listen up, O Israel! The Lord our God is the Only One in charge! You are to love that One, as your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second rule is this: You are to love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other directive greater than these.” (Mark 12)

Let us start by emphasizing that these “commandments” are NOT commands. Not a loving God, nor a loving parent “commands” love—it just does not work. In the original languages, these “commands” are expectations and directions: HOW TO—not a COMMAND TO—love.

Take your own experience of love. You know it is a whole sea of loving expectations—of mutual carings, complementary tasks, moments of intimacy, times to act together and times to be silent together–respect.

Your “heart” is your commitment—not just Valentine Day cards, or quick kisses, or “ I (Heart) you,”—but the unspoken trust that you will catch me when I fall, a forgiving look in your eyes, and the thankless cleaning up after me (as I for you). Apply these to God—and so much makes sense.

Your “soul” is your steadiness—the day-after-day-ness that marks a lifetime of paying attention to someone other than you—to your loving Father-creator, your beloved spouse, child, parent, friend—and everyone.

Your “mind” is your maturity—your awareness that what you see and hear is both veneer and sign, both hiding and revealing—and awaits your effort to penetrate into the realm of Good, of Care, of silent Words.

Your “strength” is your “extra”—your refusal to let love become habit, or commitment become stale—the “extra”-“ordinary” that ordinary love is.

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