Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40
When the Pharisees heard how Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they assembled together. One of them, a lawyer, questioned him to test him, “Teacher, which commandment of the law is the greatest?”
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. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets are founded on these two commandments.”
“The two commandments.”
What is remarkable about Jesus’ response is that he estab lished the connection between the two commandments. While the love of neighbor flows (1) from the love of God flooding our heart and (2) from our res ponse to that love, the love of God necessarily leads to a love of our neighbor. There is a cyclic dynamism between the two. They cannot be separated; one does not stand alone. By pla cing them alongside each other, Jesus assigned them “equal weight”(Brendan Byrne).
During an interview after the release of Pope Francis’ encycli cal Laudato Si’, Cardinal Peter Turkson, the prefect of the Dis castery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, said: “You cannot believe and love God without respecting or caring for what he has created.” In other words, the love of neighbor and the care of God’s beautiful creation are an integral part of loving God. A love of God becomes real and finds meaning only when it is directed to the care of the human person and other forms of life.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019