In today’s readings we have two of the most well known pericopes in all of scripture. Ruth’s pledge of fidelity to her mother-in-law Naomi is a favorite for weddings and of course Jesus’ response to the scholar unites the “Schema Yisrael,” the prayer every faithful Jew recites three times daily (Deut 6:4-5), and (Leviticus 19:18) and in doing so gives us a new law of love. It is sometimes called the Law of the Spirit.
Jesus gave this new commandment precedence over every other law, rule, regulation, prescription, statue, and command. “On these two commandments,” he said, “depends the whole Law and the Prophets.” Like Moses, the great Law-giver of old, Jesus commands us to write this one great Law upon our hearts, and to repeat it over and over again to our children.
But this new commandment is also “as old as the hills.” For by our very creation into the human family, we are all given one and the same Law or Commandment: "You shall be what you are created to be: a human being.” In other words, “You are made in God’s image therefore you are to be compassionate, merciful, generous, self-sacrificing, sensitive, unselfish, thoughtful, non-violent, gentle.”
The Law of the Spirit comes to life in us through our relationships, through family, through friends, through many wonderful people. Ruth’s pledge of fidelity to Naomi is about relationships. “I have come to know you, I love you and I will never leave you.” Love becomes incarnate in us, the Law of the Spirit is written on our hearts. Jesus commands us to love God, ourselves and everyone God loves (which is EVERYone).
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.
“Lord, send forth your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.”
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