From the mouth of Moses to the gospel of Mark the Scriptures repeat the same message about how we are to live. We hear it today, not in a long diatribe but rather a brief directive about love. When asked what is the first and greatest commandment, we can all likely reply – at least with the short form of “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” The deep impact of what that effort calls out from us, however, is in the almost staccato list of capacities that follows. We are to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength. In other words: Give it all you’ve got!
What occurred to me as I typed those last two sentences was that if we are to give ourselves so completely in loving God, what can be left for our neighbor whom we are supposed to love as ourselves? But that, it seems, is the mystery, the wonderful truth of this life of loving. In the love of God, everything gets transformed so that there is always enough love to go around – for ourselves and the neighbors everywhere who have become our other selves. Love begets love wherever it is found. That’s just the way it is. And it’s up to us to prove it.