|Clare Wojda Kunst ’23 M.Ed.
At the end of an impressive speech, modern public speakers often yell, “Mic drop!” to emphasize nothing more can be said on a subject. I imagine that this is the situation Jesus inspired at the end of today’s gospel.
The scribe, trying to stump Jesus, is left instead in agreement with him. Jesus, rather than choosing one of the ten old commandments, throws out two new, equally irrefutable commandments. The crowd is left speechless. “No one dared to ask him any more questions.”
Jesus makes it clear that there is a difference between following the rules of faith and living out one’s faith through the love of God and neighbor. His statements made the crowd feel uncomfortable, maybe even guilty. Jesus asks them to look introspectively at their faith lives, and he does the same for you and me.
There are so many areas in my life where I check the boxes of faith. Daily prayer? Check. Mass on Sunday? Check. Ten Commandments? Check. Yet, all of this means nothing if I neglect loving action toward God and neighbor.
How often am I uncharitable with family and friends? How often do I pass by someone on the street who needs help or make excuses not to get more involved in work for social justice? As I reflect more on Jesus’s words, I realize how radical it would be if everyone loved others as much as we love ourselves.
It requires waking up each day and recognizing everything as a gift. Nothing is mine. Everything is God’s. Every moment is holy and sacramental, an encounter with Christ and the opportunity to love him more.
It is when we live out our faith through this radical love that Jesus shows us that we are close to the kingdom of God.