Thursday, June 06, 2013

All Your Heart

All Your Heart

June 6, 2013
Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

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.”  Mark 12:28-31


“Blessed are you, O God of our fathers, praised be your name forever and ever.  Let the heavens and all your creation praise you forever.  You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve to be his help and support; and from these two the human race descended.  You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; let us make him a partner like himself.’  Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose.  Call down your mercy on me and on her, and allow us to live together to a happy old age.”  Tobit 8:5b-7


In this month known for modern “June brides,” we encounter the story of the relationship of Tobiah and Sarah as a covenant based upon “a noble purpose.” They seek the Lord’s blessing and that of her family before embarking on their life together in accordance with Mosaic Law.  In fact, the full story foretells numerous parallels to events in the New Testament such as the father made blind, the parents awaiting the return of the son, and the role of faith-based principles upon which to build life. Tobiah also echoes the familiar words which declare that he is living his life devoted to the presence of God in the present moment:  “Here I am.”
The prayer of Tobiah and Sarah gives us an example of a couple living out the first of all commandments.  Before they love each other, they set their lives before the Lord. 


We have all heard the expression “half-hearted” referring to someone who does not put his or her full effort into a particular endeavor.  We all have chores or activities that we might not like doing.  Taking out the trash.  Confronting someone whom you feel has done something wrong.    When Tobiah heard that Sarah had been offered to seven men previously in marriage and they all died on their wedding night, he might have felt apprehension and maybe even considered backing out of the request.  However, rather than go into the relationship “half-heartedly,” Tobiah and Sarah placed themselves before the Lord and freely entered into their new covenant. 
Is there a task that you face this week which you would like to avoid?  Something risky – risky in an emotional sense if not a physical sense?  Tackle this duty whole-heartedly after placing your wishes before the Lord.  

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