Every now and then the gospel reading at Mass refers directly to a passage from the Old Testament which is read on the same day.
Today is one of those Sundays.
When Jesus is asked by a scribe to name the greatest commandment he quotes the heart of Jewish law which forms the “Shema Yisrael” prayer from Deuteronomy 6:4 prayed by the faithful Jew every morning and evening:
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.
If you’re like me there are a dozen and more things pressing for centre space in your life. While some of these things are unhealthy compulsions and temptations, other pressures are good things and valid responsibilities. But when we make these important things (family and work responsibilities) the once central thing, we feel stressed and even life’s pleasures feel like a burden.
However when we give these important things the space in our lives that belongs to God, we lose perspective and everything becomes hard work.
Over the next few days consciously place Jesus at the centre of your life in every way. Take time at least morning and evening and at other moments to ask Jesus to take centre space, especially when you risk losing perspective.
Now notice the priorities and responsibilities in your life fall into right order within the loving divine embrace.
Pray this ancient prayer as often as you remember to during this week…
Teach me to love you
with all my heart,
all my soul,
all my mind,
and with all my strength.