The scribe said to [Jesus], “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (Mk 12:32-33)
Love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. If this is accomplished, the Kingdom of God would be ushered into our world with incredible ease.
What is the holdup, then? Why is the Kingdom so far from us yet? I think it is that second half: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” There are many people in this world of ours who do not like themselves.
It starts from the time we are very young. We perceive all sorts of signals that tell us we are flawed: we are too fat, too thin, too tall, too short, too clumsy, too withdrawn, too stupid, and the list goes on and on.
These perceived messages really hurt. They often set us on a downward spiral. We focus so much on our limitations that we end up becoming even worse. We begin to view ourselves negatively and, sooner or later, begin to tell ourselves that we are unlikable, that we are not worth anything.
If that is the case, how, then, can we love anyone else?
God does not want us to think that. He does not wish for us to refuse to love ourselves. More than anything else, He wishes that we would see ourselves as He sees us and love ourselves accordingly.
FAITH ACTION: Many people find it easy to love God. They find it much harder to love themselves. Take a good, hard look at yourself today and appreciate all that you have been given and all that you are. Try to see yourself as God sees you.
FRIDAYS OF LENT ARE DAYS OF ABSTINENCE