The Pharisees gathered together, and one of them asked, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Believe it or not, a former Catholic once told me that they left the Church because they never read or heard the Bible mentioned during Mass. Of course, anyone can say whatever they want, but that was a shocker to me! I think what they meant to say is that they couldn’t stay awake during Mass. That, at least, would have been a less ignorant statement.
The importance of scripture during Mass is obvious. Not only do we read and listen to a certain passage during Mass, we have four lengthy readings from scripture every Sunday. If you didn’t pay attention to the first reading, then the theory goes that maybe you will if you sing the second! If you still didn’t pay attention to the first or didn’t bother to sing along with us on the psalm, then we have a third reading! And still, if you didn’t catch anything from the first, second or third reading, then we have the Gospel passage of the day! God knows us well! Sometimes He has to repeat himself four times.
We read and meditate on Sacred Scripture because the Lord wishes to remind us of what he has thought, said and done for the sinner, the sick and weak, the lonely and the abandoned. He wants us to know what He has done time and time again. And we are glad to hear it. We are very glad to hear it! We actually say, “Thanks be to God!” or “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ”.
If the Lord loves a sport, I think he loves Crew. Yes, rowing! Why? Because when we row our boat, we move forward while looking back. This is a great way to get ahead. It’s a great way to understand the Will of God in our lives. You ask, what does God think of the sinner? We know what he said. He said, “I take no pleasure in the death of the sinner, but rather in their conversion” (Ez 33:11). Thanks be to God! What does he think of the orphan or the widow? He says, “If ever you wrong them and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry” (Ex 22:21). Thanks be to God! Does the Lord think of us as his slaves? No! He considers us “His friends” (Jn 15:15). Praise to you Lord, Jesus Christ! Alleluia!
If you think about it, this is what we should do all the time. We should always reflect on the past for it will help us in the future! With time, we not only look back and see how we handled a difficult situation or temptation; rather, we reflect and meditate on what we did with what we now know. This is how we can make better decisions in our lives! This is how we can live better!
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” If I try to replace the Lord with someone or something else, I shall surely be disappointed. Take a look and see for yourself. Reflect on the past and ask yourself if you should have loved Him more than another, or if you should have obeyed His statutes more than your heart?
It’s okay to look back. Sometimes it’s the only way to move forward!