The great commandment

This Sunday’s Gospel is a short and sharp one. After being asked by a lawyer what is the greatest commandment, because in the Jewish traditions there were 613 commandments, Jesus says “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

This is also summed up in a popular allegory about how the cross reminds us to love God in the vertical piece, and to love our neighbours in the horizontal piece.

The homilist also reminds us that we should not forget to love ourselves. We need to allow God to love us and care for us whilst we empower ourselves to go and reach out to our neighbours.

This weekend, I gave a testimony at a retreat and I mentioned that our God is a silent God. We are his arms and legs. He wants us to be Jesus to each other. We need to reflect the love of Christ to all around us.

That always sounds like a tall order. But take it a step at a time.

Just start with your family.

Have I been loving enough? Do I hurt others with my words or deeds?

If I’ve been hurt by someone, am I forgiving enough?

So let’s pray to God for the grace to be our best selves to those around us.

And thus we obey God’s greatest commandments.

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