When the Pharisees heard how Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. One of them, a teacher of the Law, tried to test him with this question, “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the Law?”
Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and the most important of the commandments. But after this there is another one very similar to it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole Law and the Prophets are founded on these two commandments.”
Reading: The religious authorities in Jesus’ time took turns trying to test and trap Jesus so as to dispose of Him. This time, they ask Him a religious question regarding the Law that has political implications which they might use against Him. But Jesus answered them with a principle that is equally valid be it in the religious or civil sphere. The Law of Love is the foundation of divine and human laws.
Reflection: Questions are meant to clarify and enhance one’s understanding of the truth. But in the hands of enemies, it becomes a deadly weapon that can unmake the target of such malicious question. The religious authorities took turns in trapping Jesus with questions that may appear innocent but are deadly traps. It is a difficult time for the Lord and for His disciples. But the best defense against such line of questioning is no other than the truth itself. And Jesus sticks to the truth no matter what. It may offend the religious and civil authorities but the truth can withstand any form of scrutiny. The more the opponents of Jesus waylay Him with traps, the more He unmasks their hypocrisy by the truth that He brings. No wonder they had to kill Him. In this world, the truth will always and forever be lonely.
Response: Do I have the courage to stand up for the truth? How many times have I chosen to be silent rather than stand up for what is right when it will inconvenience me? A cowardly or an indifferent life is hardly a life worth living. Today I decide to make a stand for the truth and will act on it accordingly.
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