Love God and Neighbor

August 25, 2017
Friday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
Matthew 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

REFLECTION (Sem. Gail Pabalate Cruz)

“To love God and to love your neighbor”, this is one of the most attractive teachings of Jesus. It is an encouragement to live fully with what brings the greatest joy in life, true love of God and the neighbor. It is at the heart of good religion, and what attracts many to Jesus. Some religion puts law above love. Some fight for the partial truth of their belief. We are all witnesses to an imperfect religion. Jesus’ life was to propose good way of living and to live by it.

The Gospel teaches me on how to share unconditional love, loving others without looking at their status in life. During my teenage years, I used to befriend, those who smell good, and have a say in life. I do not often mingle with those who are weak in terms of their status, because for me, I cannot get anything from them. As a seminarian, whenever I remember those memories, especially when I pray, I cry in front of God, feeling so down and guilty of what I have done, putting my neighbors down and just choosing those, for me, are good. In my life now, as I ponder on the life of my patron saint, Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, I always remind myself to share the love of God to my neighbor because in loving them, I also love Him. I admire those people who give their energy in love and service, and follow the exemplary life of people whose lives make a great and good difference to others because of following the commandment of God. Jesus also demonstrates not just love for neighbor, but also exemplifies what it means to love one’s enemies, which Jesus also exhorted his disciples to do. This sense of love, means wishing the good for one’s neighbors and even enemies that they may eventually strive and achieve salvation through Jesus Christ.

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