I know I normally start things off with a Scriptural quote followed by a topical discussion on how to live faithfully. That’s all well and good, but this is Monday, and I feel we are in need of a short, simple commission before the week begins. After all, how we approach today will largely determine the experience we can expect for this week.
Jesus boils the entirety of Jewish law and religion down to a single “coin” with two complementing sides. Matthew 22:37-39 states that we are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind… You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Life lived in faith is life lived in love.
This all seems simple enough, but for some reason we take a passive approach to this central teaching. We already have habits that determine how we react, and more often than not, they conflict severely with the law of love. That jerk in traffic, the office pain, our most annoying family member, or the odd political ad all tend to reveal the superficial effort we put into loving our neighbors, simultaneously exposing how little we think of loving God.
The neat thing about habits, though, is that they can be changed, but it is not a passive process. We can’t just read and recite the words while waiting for something to magically happen. Instead, we must make a conscious decision and effort. Every morning, before we even encounter another soul, we should set our intention to strive for love throughout the day, no matter who or what we face. If we do this every day, we will eventually establish a habit that will lead to greater awareness and transformation in our daily lives.
So today, whether you’ve already screamed your way into society or are preparing to do so, take a moment. Ponder the words of Christ in your mind, feel them in your heart, and envision what it would look like for you to live them throughout your day. I guarantee you it will be a difficult and rewarding process that will enrich your life and the lives of those you encounter. Ultimately, though, the choice is yours.
Peace be with you!