Love the Divine Who Taught Us to Love

In the Gospel, Jesus gives us two very important commandments: to love God and to love our neighbors. The common denominator of these two is the term “love.” It is easy to love if we are in good terms with others. But how about those who we hate—can we love them as Jesus told us? The commandment does not aim to discriminate, to divide, or to exclude. We must love just as Jesus does: openhanded and inclusive of all.

I remember when I was still a corporate employee, I was so strict and rigid with my fellow employees. There were times I easily judged them because of their incomplete reports. My mindset was to become the best. That was the fruit of my pride. I was so ashamed of myself because I forgot what the seminary had instilled in me—to be a neighbor to others. I reflected, and this changed my ways and led me to build more harmonious relationships. After we established friendship, one of my fellow employees confessed to me that they were having a hard time dealing with me and were afraid of being criticized. After hearing those words, I realized that I really had crossed my boundaries.

The very key to this vocation is to love the ministry Jesus has set for me. It is the means by which He lets His love be experienced by others. The priesthood is centered on loving God through others who share this Divine love. Loving sometimes means leaving and letting go. Loving entails bearing our own cross. Loving means teaching. It is through this kind of love that we can find God amidst the temptations of the world. It is not only a noun but also a verb that requires our actions. Genuine love expects no reward.

By: Sem. Bryan S. Valenzuela

Gospel: Mark 12:28-34

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.

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Holy Apostles Senior Seminary

You can still heed the call to the priesthood.

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