＊＊＊ 1st Reading ＊＊＊
Observe his commandments all the days of your life and his norms that I teach you today. So also for your children and your children’s children that they may live long.
Listen, then, Israel, observe these commandments and put them into practice. If you do this, you will be well and you will multiply in this land flowing with milk and honey, as Yahweh, the God of your fathers, promised you.
Listen, Israel: Yahweh, our God, is One Yahweh. And you shall love Yahweh, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength. Engrave on your heart the commandments that I pass on to you today.
Ps 18:2-3, 3-4, 47,51(2)
I love you, Lord, my strength.
＊＊＊ 2nd Reading ＊＊＊
The former priests were many since, as mortal men, they could not remain in office. But Jesus remains forever and the priesthood shall not be taken from him. Consequently he is able to save for all time those who approach God through him. He always lives to intercede on their behalf.
It was fitting that our High Priest be holy, undefiled, set apart from sinners and exalted above the heavens; a priest who does not first need to offer sacrifice for himself before offering for the sins of the people, as high priests do.
He offered himself in sacrifice once and for all. And whereas the Law elected weak men as high priests, now, after the Law, the word of God with an oath appointed the Son, made perfect forever.
＊＊＊＊ Gospel ＊＊＊＊
A teacher of the Law had been listening to this discussion and admired how Jesus answered them. So he came up and asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?”
Jesus answered, “The first is: Hear, Israel! The Lord, our God, is One Lord; and you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. And after this comes another one: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these two.”
The teacher of the Law said to him, “Well spoken, Master; you are right when you say that he is one and there is no other. To love him with all our heart, with all our understanding and with all our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves is more important than any burnt offering or sacrifice.”
Jesus approved this answer and said, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” But after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.
A teacher of the law asks Jesus what is the most important law of all. Jesus quoted the double commandment to love God and neighbor. the teacher of the law is impressed and Jesus assures him that he is not far from the kingdom of God. afterwards, no one dares to ask Him anymore question.
Hearing is the first stage of obedience. For if we cannot hear clearly, we cannot execute what is expected of us very well. That is why we need to hone our skills to listen to God’s voice by being intimate with it in prayer.
With our prayer life understood as a relationship with God, we become familiar with His voice. We begin to develop the capacity to distinguish His voice from our own voice and the voices of others. This allows us to carry His will in perfect obedience.
That is why Jesus quotes the “Shema” hear O Israel”as the first commandment. The quality of our following God’s will depends on our capacity to hear His voice clearly.
When was the last time you tried to divine God’s voice speaking within you? This requires a quiet space and time not rushed a quiet space and time not rushed by other concerns. Can you find that space and time today? And if today you hear God’s word, harden not your heart (Hebrews 3,15)