By Vatican News staff writer
Greeting pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter's Square before leading the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Francis focused his Sunday catechesis on the day's Gospel reading, which recounts when a scribe approached Jesus asking Him which commandment is first.
Jesus answers by quoting Scripture saying the first commandment is to love God and the second to love one's neighbour as oneself. The scribe recognises and repeats Jesus's words.
The Pope said this repetition serves to reinforce a key teaching and to understand that the Word of God must be received in a special way, noting "it must be repeated, made one’s own, safeguarded."
The Word of God must be “ruminated”
Pope Francis observed that in monastic tradition there is the concept that the Word of God must be “ruminated”, as it is "so nutritious" that it must nourish and be contemplated in every aspect of life, as Jesus says, "the entire heart, the entire soul, the entire mind, all of our strength."
The Pope underscored that "it must resound, echo within us", reflecting that "the Lord dwells in the heart," as the scribe understood and Jesus told him: “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
Read and reread the Gospel
Summarizing his thoughts, the Pope called on us to see that the Lord is looking for "docile hearts", more than "skilled Scripture commentators", who welcome His Word and allow interior conversion. He encouraged everyone to always have the Gospel in hand, "to read and reread it, to be passionate about it."
Doing so, the Word of God enters our heart intimately and "we bear fruit in Him".
Today's Gospel episode, the Pope added, shows us that more than just reading and understanding our need to love God and neighbour, we must allow this "great commandment" to "resound in us" and become "the voice of our conscience", as the Holy Spirit makes the seed of the Word germinate in us.
Each of us can reflect a unique expression of "the one Word of love that God gives us," he noted.
Let us repeat Jesus’ words
In conclusion, Pope Francis called on us to repeat Jesus' words and let them come alive in us: “To love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength and my neighbour as myself.”
Each day we should ask how much this commandment is present and resonating within us in order to be ever aware of our love for the Lord and doing good to those we meet on our journey.
Before leading the recitation of the Angelus, he prayed that the Virgin Mary may "teach us to welcome the living word of the Gospel in our hearts."