Deuteronomy 6: 5; 10: 12
Matthew 22: 37-40
Mark 12: 29-31
Luke 10: 27
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind: and your neighbor as yourself.”
This is the “Simple but Hard” task we all strive to understand and to achieve.
Catholic Life in the 21st Century
“In reading the ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church’ we can perceive the wonderful unity of the mystery of God.”
— Pope John Paul II
In Nehemiah 2:16 we read “…“And they undertook the work with vigor”
There are over 1,000 references to work in the Catholic New American Bible Revised Edition. The first reference is Genesis 2:2 “ On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken”. We are a busy species. We will find something to do with our time. Jesus was a carpenter, Peter a fisherman, and Paul a tent maker. We attain the necessities and more from the money we make. We attain identities from the work we do, from our vocation. Whether it is mother and homemaker or doctor, lawyer, sales person or janitor we position ourselves in the community and in the world by the work we do.
As we work the time and commitment to our vocation impedes on the attention and time we have for other things. We are only allotted 24 hours a day and seven days a week. No matter how hard we work we cannot change that fact. Let’s go back to Genesis 1:5 “God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” Evening came, and morning followed—the first day.” God’s creation is what it is. No matter if you are Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or atheist we live in a world of physical laws that must be obeyed. We must make decisions that keep us from violating those laws. We cannot walk off of a thirty-story building without suffering the consequences of the law of gravity. Whether we believe or not we cannot ignore all of the laws associated with God’s creation and not expect to have to deal with the consequences of our decisions.
God exists and God’s will and plan for creation is as valid today as it was when …“the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters”—Genesis 1:2 . “Working with God” is about trying to discern what God’s will or laws are and looking at how we might respond. The ‘Catechism of the Catholic Church’ is the foundation and source of the discernment.
We say that Working With God is Simple but Hard. It is Simple in that the first law is very clear DEUTERONOMY 6:4-5 “The Great Commandment.
4 Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! 5 Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength.” It is simple but hard? How do I do that? What does it mean? We will explore what it means to “Love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart” and while we may not make it easier, we hope to meet on the way to attainment.
The second is like the first. Matthew 22:36-40 “The Greatest Commandment. 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and the first commandment. 39 The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” “ Love your neighbor as yourself” simple but not so easy. How do we understand this and apply in our world today?