Daily Gospel – Thursday, June 6, 2024 – Mark 12,28b-34 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (2 Timothy 2:8-15)

Reading of the Second Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy.

Dear friend, remember Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, raised from the dead according to my gospel. For him I am suffering even to the point of handcuffs, as if I were a criminal; but the word of God is not shackled. This is why I will endure anything for the elect, so that they too may obtain salvation, which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. This word deserves faith: if we die with him, we will live with him. If we stand firm with him, we will reign with him. If we deny him, he will also deny us. If we are unfaithful to him, he remains faithful, as he cannot deny himself. Remind them of these things and conjure them by God to avoid vain discussions, which are of no use except for the perdition of the listeners. Strive to present yourself before God as a man worthy of approval, as a workman who has no need to be ashamed, but correctly expounds the word of truth.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (Mark 12,28b-34)

— PROCLAMATION of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Mark.

— Glory to you, Lord.

At that time, a master of the Law approached Jesus and asked him: “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus answered, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength! The second commandment is: You shall love your neighbor as yourself! There is no other commandment greater than these.” The teacher of the Law said to Jesus: “Very well, Master! Indeed, it is as you said: He is the only God and there is no other besides him. Love him with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is better than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Jesus saw that he had responded intelligently, and said: “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And no one else had the courage to ask Jesus questions.

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, gathered today in the presence of God, I would like to begin our reflection with a simple but powerful image. Think of a gardener who takes care of his garden with love and dedication. He plants the seeds, waters, removes weeds and protects the plants from pests. The goal is a beautiful, fruitful garden that brings joy and nourishment to all who see it. Likewise, God cares for each of us, His garden, and invites us to grow in faith and love, reflecting His glory to the world.

In today’s readings, from both Saint Paul’s letter to Timothy and Mark’s gospel, we are called to reflect on how we can live a life that is an authentic witness to the Christian faith, nurturing our relationship with God and others.

In the second letter to Timothy, Paul writes to his beloved disciple to encourage him to remain firm in the faith. He says, “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David, according to my gospel.” This simple remembrance of Jesus, the foundation of our faith, is a call to never forget the heart of the Gospel: the resurrection of Christ, which is our hope and victory over death.

Paul continues to exhort Timothy to be a diligent and faithful worker in preaching the Gospel, not to be ashamed of suffering for Christ, and to persevere even in the face of difficulties. He uses the image of the soldier, the athlete and the farmer to illustrate the need for discipline, effort and patience. Just as a soldier does not allow himself to be distracted by everyday matters, as an athlete undergoes rigorous training and as a farmer works hard before harvesting the fruits, we too must be committed to our faith, even when the path is difficult.

Paul reminds us that despite the challenges, “the word of God is not bound.” This powerful statement encourages us to trust that even in times of persecution or difficulty, the Gospel message continues to be proclaimed and transform lives. Our mission is to remain faithful, trusting that God is working through us.

In Mark’s gospel, we find one of the most profound and beautiful moments in Jesus’ teachings. A scribe approaches Jesus and asks which is the greatest of all the commandments. Jesus’ response is both simple and profound: “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding and with all your strength.’ And the second is: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

This summary of the law in two commandments offers us a clear and practical guide for our Christian lives. Jesus shows us that the entire law is summed up in love for God and neighbor. This double love is the basis of all our morality and spirituality. Loving God with all our heart means placing God at the center of our lives, always seeking to do His will and living in communion with Him. Loving our neighbors as ourselves calls us to extend the love we receive from God to those around us , treating them with compassion, justice and respect.

To understand better, let’s think about the metaphor of the human heart. The heart is the vital center of the body, pumping blood to all parts, providing oxygen and nutrients essential for life. Likewise, love for God must be the vital center of our existence, driving all our actions, thoughts and words. And the blood that flows from the heart, bringing life and energy to all parts of the body, represents our love for others, which should touch and revitalize the lives of those with whom we interact.

Let us now consider the practical application of these teachings in our daily lives. How can we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength? This means setting aside time for prayer, reading Scripture, and the sacraments, especially the Eucharist, where we encounter the real presence of Christ. It also means trusting God in all situations, seeking His guidance and surrendering our wills to His will.

Loving our neighbors as ourselves challenges us to look beyond our own needs and desires. It means being sensitive to the needs of others, being willing to offer help and support, and working for justice and the common good. It is a call to see each person as a beloved child of God, worthy of respect and dignity.

There is a story about Saint Francis of Assisi that wonderfully illustrates these commandments. One day, he met a leper on the road. Francisco, who had previously been repulsed by lepers, got off his horse, gave the man a kiss on the cheek and offered him help. This act of love and compassion transformed Francisco’s life and became an example of how we should love our neighbors, especially those who are marginalized and rejected by society.

In the context of our lives, this love can be expressed in many small and large ways. It could be through a smile for someone who is having a difficult day, a word of encouragement, or an act of charity for someone in need. It can also be through working for social justice, fighting inequalities and defending the rights of the poor and oppressed.

Love for God and neighbor is not just an emotion, but a choice and a daily commitment. It is a call to live so that our lives are a reflection of the love of Christ. When we live these commandments, we become true disciples, light of the world and salt of the earth, making the Gospel message visible through our actions.

My brothers and sisters, as we reflect on these readings, may we be inspired to renew our commitment to living a life of love for God and others. May we be like that diligent gardener, caring for our relationships with God and others so that we can flourish and bear abundant fruit.

Now, let’s take a moment of silence to reflect on how we can apply these teachings in our lives. Let us close our eyes and ask God for the grace to love with all of our being, so that we can live according to the commandments that Jesus gave us.

Lord, we thank You for the words of life that You offer us through the Scriptures. Help us to love You with all our heart, soul, understanding and strength. Give us the grace to love our neighbors as ourselves, reflecting Your love in all our actions. May we be faithful witnesses of Your Gospel, bringing light and hope to the world. Amen.

As we leave here today, let us take with us the determination to live these commandments in our daily lives. May God’s grace accompany us and strengthen us, so that we can be instruments of His love and peace in the world. Remember, we are called to love – let’s make that love the hallmark of our lives. Amen.