First Reading
Deuteronomy 6:2-6

Moses spoke to the people, saying: “Fear the Lord your God, and keep, throughout the days of your lives, all his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you, and thus have long life. Hear then, Israel, and be careful to observe them, that you may grow and prosper the more, in keeping with the promise of the Lord, the God of your fathers, to give you a land flowing with milk and honey. “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today.”

Second Reading
Hebrews 7:23-28

Brothers and sisters: The levitical priests were many because they were prevented by death from remaining in office, but Jesus, because he remains forever, has a priesthood that does not pass away. Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them. It was fitting that we should have such a high priest: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, higher than the heavens. He has no need, as did the high priests, to offer sacrifice day after day, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did that once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints men subject to weakness to be high priests, but the word of the oath, which was taken after the law, appoints a son, who has been made perfect forever.

Gospel Cycle Cycle B
Mark 12:28b-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.

Today we hear the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ very clearly: love God and love your neighbor. We have to find a way to bring this commandment to life within us. The commandments of the Lord are not at all like a rule book or a list of things that we must do. Rather, they are a way of life for us. Every day we should be able to find a way to be living in the truth of this commandment.

When we hear the first reading, from the Book of Deuteronomy, our hearts must be moved by the strong words: “Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today.”

How can we take these words to heart? Only by striving every day to live them at the very core of our lives. Loving God is not about going to Church on Sunday! It is not about trying to do a list of things for Him! It is about loving God in every aspect of every moment of our lives! How often this seems entirely impossible!

There are days on which we almost completely forget about God and there are days when God presence seems to have abandoned us. There are days when even the faith that we do have seems useless for anything.

Yet, if we can live the words of Deuteronomy, “Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today,” our lives will begin to change.

For us, it is not enough to know the answer to the questions, but we must be living that answer. That is the only way in which we can take the Lord’s words to heart!

We can hear the words of the Letter to the Hebrews today, encouraging us to find a way to live the words of the Lord because we have Jesus as our High Priest. Jesus knows our weaknesses because he experienced them in his own life. We are able to call upon Jesus as our Lord and allow Him to be our Priest because he knows our humanity inside and out.

Today, let us call on Jesus and ask Him to be our High Priest and the one who intercedes for us so that we can take the words of God to heart and live them in every aspect of our lives.