In this week's Gospel we are given a profound and central key to the heart of God. Jesus is posed the following question, "Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?"
And Jesus replied, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment."
Just think about these words..."You must love the Lord your God with all your heart . . ." All our heart?
Jesus says this is the first and greatest commandment.
The simple reality is that God is looking for love from his people. Total love. He is looking for a heart that loves God above all things. A heart that puts God first. A heart that surrenders and worships without limits.
This is not a suggestion. It is the great command. In heaven, the angels and saints are 100 per cent "in love" with God. They have no other desire. No other agenda. No other plan.
They live in an ongoing communion of love - they are one heart and one mind with the King and Lord of all.
So when you and I look at ourselves it is easy to get discouraged. How many of us love God with "all our hearts? None of us do. We are not capable of the total love required.
We are all too often distracted, half-hearted and at times we seem to forget God altogether. So what can we do? We can look to the heart of Jesus.
When we share his heart we can love without limits. This is the meaning of "Holy Communion." Through our holy communion with Jesus Christ we share his heart, his love, his compassion and his mercy.
United with Jesus we can do the impossible. We can love God our Father and all humanity without limits. This is the great secret and science of the saints.
We do not produce love ourselves. Love is a divine fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5.22) We are merely instruments of God's love and never the ultimate source.
Jesus once said to St. Margaret Mary, "Breathe only my love." The more I meditate on this phrase the more it fills me with joy. These words point us to the heart of the God who is love.
We should realize with every breath we are upheld, renewed and called by the love of God. With every breath, Jesus is loving you and me. Every breath his Spirit of love is present and working in us.
Every breath we can love through Jesus, with Jesus and in Jesus. When we understand this mystery we are penetrating the very heart of God. We can love with all our heart because at this moment Jesus is loving us with all his heart.
I have seven children. I love them all deeply. Every time they respond in little ways to my love I am thrilled. It fills me with joy.
When my youngest son Christopher kisses me on the cheek and says, "I love you Dad," it moves my heart in a profound way. His small attempts at love activate the wellspring of God's love in me.
God is no different. He takes our desire to love and infuses it with his own love. He is thrilled when we express our love and share in his infinite reserves of love for us all.
So let us meditate on the greatest commandment. Let us love with all our heart - uniting every breath with the limitless love of the heart of Jesus. This is the key that unlocks the floodgates of heaven.
Lord Jesus, may we breathe only your love. May we love with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. Amen.