31st Sunday (B)

The command in the Book of Deuteronomy, which we heard in our first reading today, to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, (Deut 6:4-6) and repeated by Jesus in the Gospel (Mark 12:29-30), is what we want to do when we see what God has done for us and how God loves us. Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength is the only response to God who loves us so much. These words commonly known as the Shema (hear) are at the heart of Jewish piety. Elegant in their simplicity and powerful in their wisdom, they direct the believer to a proper relationship with God. Jesus preserves this commandment and adds love of neighbor and self to it. It is usually written on the doors, which could be seen always and on leather parchments to be kept safely with the persons as a constant reminder.
1.Loving God with all your heart means knowing Jesus and having a deep committed relationship with Him.
Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but by ME. If you had known Me; you would have known My Father also; henceforth you know Him and have seen Him.” When you come in relationship with Jesus everyday, you come in relationship with the Father also everyday. Then the unconditional love of God is poured into your hearts as said in Romans 5:5 says God’s love is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. This unconditional love of God helps us to forgive our own selves and others, heals our hurts emotionally so that we can unconditionally forgive and love our neighbor. As you grow deeper in relationship with Jesus; your love for Him and dependence on Him will be more. Your dependence on Him and in His Word shows your total and unconditional response towards Him.

2. Loving God with all your mind means obeying all His commands.
Jesus said if you love Me you would obey my commandments. And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever. (Jn. 14:15-16). Open your heart to hear the Word of God and obey them. You can love God 100% only when you read the Word and obey from your hearts. The ‘IF’ is a condition, so if you love Him; obey His Word, so that Jesus will ask the Father and send the Holy Spirit to you. The Holy Spirit is not in everyone.Jn.14: 17 say the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit. Those who do not live in the Word of God can only live according to the standard of the world, they neither sees Him nor knows Him. Jesus is speaking this to the disciples who knows Him and loves Him by obeying His word so they have the Holy Spirit as said in Jn.14: 17-18. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you”. Jesus at the right hand of God will ask the Father to give us the Holy Spirit to control our lives only when we love Jesus and obey His commands.
Obeying all His commands lead us to love Him with all our mind and to stay in His will, for the Word of God renews our minds. Romans 12: 2 says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. “As your mind gets renewed each day through the Word of God, revelation knowledge of God, and understanding of your identity in Christ will be reveled more and more to love Him with all your mind.

3. Loving God with all your soul means building your life in the Word.
Jesus said in Math.7: 24-27 “Everyone then who hears these Words of mine and does them will be like a wise man, who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. Only if you obey the Word, you will become like a wise man, then no matter what storms come in your life, your soul which consist of your emotions, will and mind keeps you healthy to live a victorious Christian life in every situation because your life built according to the Word. This wisdom that we receive through the Word of God, leads us to love Him with all our soul. So beware of building your life according to the wisdom of this world for God says in 1 Cor. 3:19 ” For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight…..”
Why did Jesus say those who hear and obey the Word are like a wise man who built His house the on rock?
The rock signify Jesus, the rock is created by God and it is very strong, compared to the brick created by man which can be broken easily. Jesus is the rock of God and the name rock describes the essence of stability and reliability of God and this title stresses the permanent unchanging nature of God also the dependence and faith through which man can lean on to Him. We see the name ‘Rock’ used for Jesus many times in the Bible. Jesus is Word of God, (seeRev.19: 13, Jn.1: 1; 14.) So Jesus is the Rock, the Word of God that we must hear and obey to build our lives on the chief corner stone that is Jesus (Eph.2: 20).

The Word of God builds your life only if you receive the Word into your heart and obey them. Paul when he left Ephesians he committed the people in that church to God and to the Word. Acts 20:32 “now I commit you to God and to the Word of grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified”.
When I do not love the Lord with all my heart by obeying His Word as said in Jn. 14:23, and when I become stiff necked, stubborn and disobedient to the
Word of God with an uncircumcised heart. Holy Spirit is Resisted Acts 7: 51

Let us love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind; for this is the first and great commandment. Then we will have the unconditional love of God to love our neighbor. All the other commandments come inside these two commands and His commands are not burdensome.1 John 5:3 “For this is the love for God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” Because the Holy Spirit helps those who obey His Word, Acts 5:32 “And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him. Let us make sure that we obey His Word to enter the promise land (heaven). The Word of God can be sent only to those who humbly receive it and God looks at those people. Isaiah 66:2,5 says ” But this is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my Word”.