Friday, March 28 – The greatest commandment
Weather.com offers an hour by hour prediction, not only of temperature and precipitation but also of wind speed and direction. Today their predictive models tell us to expect warm weather (50+), gusty winds (in the 20 mph range) and cloudy skies. Not an idylic day but maybe a major help melting and then vacuuming away more stubborn winter-worn piles of snow. Spring housekeeping on a large scale.
Today’s Catholic mass recounts a question to Jesus: “What is the greatest commandment?” The question is important by itself. Not all commandments are the greatest, spend some time asking what are the more important challenges and constraints — at the university, in the city, in the country, in the world? The stakes are higher when you ask, not what are greater commandments, but what is the greatest commandment. Jesus says it is to “love God with all your heart” and then footnotes that by naming a second commandment, love other human beings as yourself.
Universities are centered on giving hospitality to all of the human condition, to discussing , exploring, mutually challenging and listening to other human beings about any element of the human experience. It’s a labor-intensive, gradually unfolding, act of hope at the deepest level. Perhaps that’s why Spring — labor-intensive, gradually-unfolding hope — feels like such an apt time in the year’s academic rhythm.
“You shall love the lord your God
with all your heart
with all your mind
with all your strength,
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Have a good weekend.