“THE TOTAL GOSPEL”          

by Fr. Walt Wainwright

In today’s gospel we find one of the occasions where Jesus sets forth for us the words of the greatest commandments.  Today’s happens to be on the occasion when one of the scholars of the Law in an attempt to trip Jesus up places before him the question, ‘which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’  He does this in an effort to trip Jesus up and boy, is he in for a shocking surprise.

We don’t know if the so called scholar of the Law went on to give any examples of what he expected Jesus to give in attempting to answer the scholar; nothing is given to us and probably for good reason.  Jesus goes right ahead and gives the right answer to the scholar’s question.  It’s worth citing here…

“You shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and the greatest commandment.  The second is like it” you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Then Jesus says, “The whole law and the prophets depends on these two commandments.”

Adding that last sentence was very wise of Jesus because He is giving the fullest reason why these two commandments sum up the whole law.  Undoubtedly he left the scholar speechless and silent.

I would like to share with you also some thoughts in a little reflection entitled “The Whole Gospel” which I think you will find interesting and enriching for your reflection.

“To separate the two commandments is a tragedy and goes clean contrary to the Gospel. 

Yet unfortunately this often happens.  Those who have faith often have no love, and

Those who love often have no faith.

Thus the gospel has been torn in two.

Jesus spoke of two commandments.  The first-that we should love God.

The second-that we should love our neighbor.

He didn’t say that they were the same thing, but that they are like two sides of the one coin.”

All four accounts of the gospels give us a life-times worth of reflection, learning and growth that will prove the truth of these word.

Let me share with you the words of one of the prayers we find in the “Book of Christian Prayer”.  This book is also known as the Divine Office.  What I want to share is a little prayer assigned to the 25th Sunday of the Church year.  It just happens to fit so well.

“Father in heaven, the perfection of justice is found in your love and all mankind is in need of your law.  Help us to find this love in each other that justice may be attained through obedience to your law.”

And that law is to love you above all else and our neighbor as ourselves.

Rejoice in the beauty of God’s creation!

Fr. Walt