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loveneighborWhen someone asks, as the scribe asked Jesus in this morning’s gospel (MK 12:28-34), What is the first of all the commandments? it’s a safe bet that most people who have any religious background will give the same answer. And we know that the one is really two: love of God and love of neighbor as ourselves. Jesus was quick to answer with the imperative from Deuteronomy that he had learned in his youth: Hear, O Israel! The Lord, our Lord, is One (or Lord alone!) What follows tells us how to love God: with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Pondering that directive would logically lead us to the next: Love your neighbor as yourself. If we’re spending ourselves in love of God with all of those faculties, everything else must flow from that activity, it seems. In other words, we must become the love of God manifest in the world. If that is true, there is no doubt that all of our intention and function would be an impulse of love – of ourselves and everyone else in God. It would all be seamless – no distinction or separation. And that, for thousands of years now, has been God’s desire for us.