FIRST READING
A reading from the Book of Deuteronomy 6:2-6
“Head: O Israel, you shall love the Lord with all your heart.”

Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life; that your days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them; that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, anal with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 18:2-3a, 3bc—4.47 and 51 ab (R. 2)
R/. I love you, Lord, my strength.

I love you, Lord, my strength;
O Lord, my rock, my fortress, my saviour. R.

My God, my rock where I take refuge;
my shield, my saving strength, my stronghold.
I cry out, “Praised be the Lord!”
and see, I am saved from my foes. R/.

R/. I love you, Lord, my strength.

The Lord lives, and blest be my Rock!
May the God of my salvation be exalted.
The Lord gives great victories to his king,
and shows merciful love for his anointed. R.

SECOND READING          
“He holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues for ever.”
A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews 7:23-28

Brethren: The priests [of the former covenant] were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but Christ holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues for ever. Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did this once for all when he offered up himself. Indeed, the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect for ever.

The word of the Lord.

ALLELUIA John 14:23
Alleluia. If a man loves me, he will keep my word; says the Lord; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him. Alleluia.

GOSPEL               
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 12:28b-34
“You shall love the Lord your God. You shall love your neighbour. ”

At that time: One of the scribes came up to Jesus and asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he; and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbour as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any question.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

Love of God and love of neighbor are the two legs on which we walk to the kingdom of God. We cannot truly love God without loving our neighbor and we cannot truly love our neighbor without love of God. St John puts it succinctly when he says that you cannot love God whom you cannot see if you do not love your brother whom you can see.  In truth, our entire Christian life sums up these two commandments, because our response to them will ultimately determine our eternal destiny.  Love does not simply make the world go round; it makes our lives more meaningful. “In the evening of our lives, we will be judged on love.”

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