Hear or listen, from our first reading (Deuteronomy 6:2-6) connotes “Always remember, never forget!” “Remember now!” What the people are to remember is that the Lord is our God, the Lord alone. This religious mantra unites Jews, Muslims and Christians. And this mantra is the context for the rest of the passage, the “greatest commandment”: … love the Lord … with all your heart and … soul and … strength. In today’s Gospel, Jesus quotes this same Scripture. I think it is the only time we hear the same reading twice in a Sunday Mass! So foundational is this passage that practicing Jews have these words inscribed on a little capsule or shrine called a mezuzah. They mount or hang it at the entry doors of their homes and touch it with reverence, like an act of faith, when they come and go from the home. Christians I know have adopted this custom, or perhaps placed a religious symbol in their home away from home, their car. We all need concrete reminders, don’t we, to interrupt the business of our days and help us listen, hear, remember now the one important thing: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia