One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, "Which is the first of all the commandments?"
Jesus replied, "The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these."
The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, He is One and there is no other than He.
And to love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your
neighbor as yourself is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
And when Jesus saw that He answered with understanding,
He said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God."
And no one dared to ask Him any more questions.
Today, Jesus is reminding us to set our priorities straight: first God, then others, and last, yourself.
First, "The Lord our God is Lord alone!" We must put God first and love Him with everything we have. This must be our number one priority. But how often do we put other things before God in our every day lives? Our lives become busy and so we put off our prayers, Mass, or our Lenten sacrifices because we do not have the time or the energy. Let this Lent serve as a time for us to re-evaluate our priorities and make time for God, put Him at the top of your list. When we give God our time as an expression of our love, we care for ourselves and our loved ones not only in our present life, but for our eternal one as well. Everything stems from our love of God and God’s love for us.
Then,“you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” We should treat others the way that we would like to be treated, with the dignity given to them by God; we should love others as He loves them and as He loves us. Putting others interests before ours allows us to see the world in a much wider perspective.
Last, yourself. You may ask, if I am preoccupied caring for other’s needs, who will care for me? The answer is simple: God will care for you. God knows that it requires great trust in Him for us to put our all into caring for others and worshiping a God we cannot see. We must remember that it is the child-like who enter Heaven, those who trust that God the Father will provide for them. Today, put all of your trust in God and re-prioritize: God first, then others, and lastly yourself.