One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, ‘Which commandment is the first of all?’ Mark 12.28
This period leading up to Easter, through Holy Week to the Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Day) is known in the liturgical calendar as ‘Passion-tide’ - a time for particular reflection on the Passion of Christ - the suffering and death of Jesus. In this time Christians are encouraged to meditate not so much on the gory details of the last hours of Jesus, but the meaning behind this defining narrative within the Christian story. So we will continue our journey with the theme of Passion.
Passion is, of course, a word with more than the technical meaning used at this time of the Church’s year. It is much more commonly used to describe something that excites us, that drives us, that consumes us. So we begin with a question:
What is it that drives you?
Is it the desire to be popular, or successful, or rich, or a great achiever? Is it the desire to learn, to understanding, to share knowledge? Is it a longing to be better, stronger, faster than anyone else? Is if the hope of being a better human being?
The Bible gives us three things to be passionate about, or it at least encourages us to be grounded in a threefold passion.
Jesus said “…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these” Mark 12. 30, 31