Devotion for Friday after the Third Sunday in Lent

One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and 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, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that He is One, and there is no one else besides Him; and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that, no one would venture to ask Him any more questions. ~ Mark 12:28-34

Most of us can recite the Summary of the Law. We know that if we love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and also love our neighbors as ourselves, there is no need for commandments, rules, laws. We will do everything we’re supposed to and won’t do those things we shouldn’t out of love for God and others. But knowing and practicing are two different things. It’s easy to state these two overarching statements—it’s not so easy to live by them. We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit—we will never be perfect, but the Spirit will help us love God and man more.

Lord God, I want to love You with everything I have. I want to love others as myself. But so often I fall far short on both. I put other things ahead of serving You. I put my own comfort above the needs of others. Please forgive me, and empower me by the Holy Spirit to be filled with love and act accordingly. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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