"my Father". I believe Jesus is attempting to get his hearers to understand the God, the God who sits in heaven in majesty and with great power, the one who commands deep awe and respect, is not just God, but is also their Father. Jesus is trying to bring them to a place where God becomes someone more to them, God becomes someone with whom they share a deep relationship. This is Abba.
A man asked Jesus a question in Mark 12, "what is the greatest commandment"? The man, a scribe, is looking for the shema as found in Deuteronomy 6 where God commands that Israel shall love God and Him only. In the Old Testament passage it declares, "hear o Israel", or "shema o Israel". But Jesus answers with something even further, he says their is a second commandment attached to the first which is to love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these. The scribe agrees, even though I am quite sure he was only looking for the first, and even steps up the conversation one more. The scribe not only agrees but adds that these are even more important than the sacrificial system. Perhaps Jesus answer recalls for the scribe Malachi 2 where the question is posed as to why Judah has been unfaithful to even its own. Maybe he is even thinking of Isaiah prophesying that coming judgment was not only for following after other gods, but because there was no justice. Justice meaning no care for widows, orphans, poor, sick, and the alien in the land. Elsewhere God found only bloodshed rather than justice and righteousness. God said that he was tired of their sacrifices and festivals. The scribe must have known these scriptures.
John, in his first letter, chapter 2, gives a "new commandment". This new commandment is not really "new", it is only new to his readers. New because John might have seen or heard that they were making wild claims about loving God while they still carried hatred for the brothers and sisters. John might be intending to limit this to certain group of believers, but we find more on this topic elsewhere. Paul also recited the Shema more than once, in different ways, but the intent is always the same, love others, all others. The song found in Philippians 2, about Jesus, is the shema of Jesus. Both Jesus and Paul declared that we are to love our enemies. How are we to love our enemies? The same way Jesus loved his, he went to the cross for them. Paul says we are living sacrifices for our Abba. We are not living sacrifices to atone for ourselves, we are such so that we can love as our Abba loves us. How does John say that we know who loves God, or is in the light? By their love.
So, I can examine, or reflect, on each situation in my daily life and can know, how much do I love my Abba? According to Jesus, John, and Paul, I will know how much depending on how much I love others. Some might say it is easier to love God because of what his son accomplished, the love and therefor the gift. Even John says this, Abba was first, Abba initiates and we respond to him. This is a very important part of the believers life, the shema. Hear o child of Abba, he is one, and we love him with all of our heart, mind, strength, and all of our being, and we also love our neighbor in the same way we love Abba, completely. The shema accomplishes Abba's will on earth. I believe it is important for us to recite the shema everyday to remind us that we are chosen as separate from the world, we are lights that shine the love of God, of our Abba so the world might see him in us. The shema was not just for Israel, or Judah, or the Pharisee, it is for everyone. It is just what the world needs always, but especially wherever you are.