ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Unchained Word of God

Updated on June 7, 2020

Everything that is done out of love acquires greatness and beauty.” ~ Saint Josemaria Escriva

In today’s 1st Reading (2 Timothy 2:8-15) we encounter a resolute but realistic Saint Paul, who has seemIngly come to grips with his fate, that of imprisonment in a squalid jail cell. Yet Paul remains hopeful nonetheless, hopeful not in his own personal plight mind you, which he has said on a number of occasions is of no significance to him (Acts 20-24). His desire is simply to finish the race, compete well for the faith, and play a role in the salvation of the Gentiles that our Lord has put in his path. Therein lies his hope, and his faith in God allows him to go forth with full and total confidence in the completion of his mission.

Paul’s hope is rooted in the very Word of God, which he points out is unconquerable. “Such is my Gospel,” he says, “for which I am suffering, even to the point of chains, like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation this is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory.”

This unchained and unbridled word of God is proclaimed in today’s Gospel (Mark 13:28-34) wherein Jesus carefully instructs a “friendly scribe” regarding the first and greatest of the Commandments. It’s only fair to point out that not all of the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees that Jesus encountered were belligerent towards him. Today is a prime example of this fact. Nicodemus, whom we encounter on three separate occasions in John’s Gospel, is another (John 3:1-21, John 7:50-51 and John 19:39-42). Upon asking Jesus which is the 1st of all the Commandments, Jesus replies as follows:

“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.”

Jesus then explains that obedience to this commandment is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices. I say commandment (no “s”) for the same reason that Jesus did. Upon first glance it would appear as though Jesus offered the scribe a “2-fer” so to speak, commanding of him uncompromising love of God and selfless love of neighbor. But in reality, these commands are inseparable. As an Italian Deacon I know likes to say when discussing this passage, these two virtues are perfectly and inexorably paired “like the prosciutto and the figs.” He likens this dual love of God and neighbor to two hinges on a door. Without both ~ working in concert with each other ~ the door will not work properly, in this case the door that leads to life in full communion with God’s Law. The door that one day leads to eternal life.

The words Jesus spoke to this scribe were in fact familiar to him. A man clearly well-versed in Scripture, the scribe recognized the words spoken by Jesus for they were written in Deuteronomy (4:5-6) as well as the 19th Chapter of Leviticus. His enthusiastic agreement with Jesus leads one to this conclusion.

“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” These are Jesus’ encouraging final words to the scribe. Encouraging yes, but words that imply that there is still some unfinished business to tend to for those with the wisdom to hear and understand the magnitude of this teaching, That unfinished business is of course an actual commitment to this great commandment, putting this edict to work in our lives during every moment and every encounter. In doing so, we are in fact already living in the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom that has come yet is still to come. . . now, but not yet. Let us join today’s Psalmist in joyful prayer as we proclaim “Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me your paths, Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior.” ~ Psalm 25:4.

I leave you with this prayer:

“Lord, teach us to be good and loving neighbors, not just to those who live nearby but to everyone that we meet, to see the best in, and want the best for all your precious children, who might one day return to their Father’s house and the warmth of your embrace.”

~ Amen

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)