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Jesus creates a new commandment

Sunday, November 4th, 2012, is the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.  

Lectio:  Read the Gospel text from Mark 12:28-34.

Read it slowly and reflectively, and maybe a second time.  Try to read aloud rather than with the mind.  Listen to the text as you read.

Meditatio:  What is it about?   Some background so that we can better understand the text and make our response to it.

Deuteronomy has said:  “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength.” Leviticus 19:18 taught:  “You must love your neighbour as yourself.”

Now Jesus comes along and combines the two commandments into one. (“there is no commandment greater than these”). And here is the dreadful challenge for Christians.  It is easier to stop with God, and leave it at that.  But the Incarnation happens with Jesus.  God becomes human.  

God takes on human flesh, so that from then on, “to abandon the least of our brothers and sisters, is to abandon Christ Himself.” (Bl Columba Marmion).  And those who understand that the two commandments are ONE commandment, are, like the Scribe in the Gospel, “not far from the kingdom of God…” Ponder over the text for some hours or days.  Different words, motifs, themes, images will come to you.  Stay with them.

Listen to the Holy Spirit playing like a harpist on the fibres of your heart, to bring forth melody of your response.

I share my response in Evangelizatio No. 1

EVANGELIZATIO:  My lived response to the texts with which the Church exhorts me to pray.  St. James says “Be doers of the Word.”  And the Book of Deuteronomy tells us that the Word of God is in our hands to do it. 

I am remembering the teaching of Blessed Columba Marmion (pictured):  “When a person fails in love, and at the same time receives Christ in the Eucharist (Holy Communion), that person cannot say to Christ:  “My Lord Jesus I love You with all my heart.”  

This would be a lie, because that person does not envelop Christ and His members with a self-same love.  That person has not accepted the mystery of the Incarnation in its totality.  Such a person stops at Christ’s individual Humanity, and forgets the spiritual prolongation of the Incarnation, which is the Mystical Body of Jesus.  So then, when we go to Holy Communion, we ought ever to be ready to embrace, in one and the same love, Christ, and all that is united to Him.  The Eucharist is a sacrament of union with Christ, and of union between people.”  

And so, I am challenged to look at the way I so casually receive the Eucharist, and at the same time, allow critical negative thoughts enter my heart, thoughts against a member of Christ’s Mystical Body.

— Sr Hildegard Ryan OSB, Jamberoo Abbey 

LECTIO DIVINA IS ABOUT READING THE SACRED SCRIPTURES, REFLECTING ON THE SACRED SCRIPTURES, FROM AN INFORMED BACKGROUND.  IT IS ALLOWING THE HOLY SPIRIT TO PLAY ON THE FIBRES OF MY HEART, LIKE A HARPIST, AND BRING FORTH THE BEAUTY OF MY RESPONSE.  IN RESPONDING TO THE TEXT, MY LIFE IS CHANGED MORE AND MORE INTO CHRIST.

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From St Mary’s, North Sydney. The first Mass of the day on YouTube

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Live streamed from Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral, Waitara

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