LOVING GOD WITH ALL

Thursday, 9th Week in Ordinary Time            

            “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.” This is the creed or the defining belief of the Jewish people. And this fundamental statement is followed by a moral imperative – this is how the Shema goes on: “Therefore, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your minds, and with all your strength.”

            The Credo – the I Believe in one God – that we recite every Sunday Mass is our own Christian version of the Shema. Every time we profess our faith in one God, we make a radical and subversive statement. By saying that “our God is Lord alone” – the only Lord worthy of our obedience, the only Lord who has claim on us – we radically undermine anybody else or anything else that tries to claim our obedience, fidelity, and loyalty. No country, no culture, no ideology, no system, no political party, no president, no leader, no person is absolute – but God alone.

            Our Creed that we recite and pray must not only consist of words; rather, it must be an expression of how we choose to live our lives: that is, we choose to live loving the Lord God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength. We choose to live letting God, and God alone, to form our being, to set our direction and to have total control of our life. We choose to live our lives following God’s will, not ours… promoting his Kingdom, not ours… using his gifts according to his purposes, not ours.

            “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” We are to love the Lord God with the totality of our emotions and our desires. We must not allow anybody else and anything else to take the space in our heart that God alone must occupy. We are to love the Lord God with all our spiritual energies. Our soul must be in a state of constant search for God to find meaning, fulfillment, and perfect happiness. We are to love the Lord God with all our resources. We must use everything we have to manifest our love for God in concrete and practical ways.

            If we are to love God with all our heart, with all our soul with all your mind, and with all our strength, and if we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, we must use everything we are and everything we have for the greater glory of God – ad majorem Dei gloriam.

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