Reflections - Oct. 26, 2014

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”  Mt. 22:36
 
In this fourth story of the controversies between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees, Matthew presents us with question that a Pharisee presents to the Lord.  Which is the greatest commandment?
It is important to emphasize that the rabbis listed 613 different commandments divided into positive and negative precepts.
 
Jesus responds by quoting text from Deuteronomy:  “Hear, O Israel!  Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your strength”.  Dt. 6:4-5.  This text is part of the Shema, the profession of Jewish faith.
 
The novelty of what Jesus says is not to quote this commandment.  Any rabbi would approve it.  The novelty consist of placing the text of Leviticus, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself”, Lv. 19:18, affirming that these are the two greatest commandments of the law and that if you fulfill these two commandments to love God and your neighbor then you are satisfying the Ten Commandments.
 
Of course the love of God and of your neighbor has to be accompanied by acts of love.
 
Here I leave you to ponder what it means to love for the followers of Christ:
 
The disease that the world suffers, “the disease of human beings is not poverty or war.  It is the lack of love, the sclerosis of the heart”.  St. Teresa of Calcutta.
 
Those who love give life, he gives it like Jesus.
It is to allow yourself to be chased, but you do not chase.
It is to allow yourself to be crucified, but you do not crucify.
It is to allow yourself to be slandered, but you do not slander.
It is to rejoice with those who rejoice.  To weep with those you weep….rejoice with those who have repented.  Be everyone’s friend.  It is to extend your cape over those who may fall into failure and receive his punishment and shame, please do not overwhelm him.
 
When a person feels loved, he is no longer the same.  And when he knows he is divinely loved, he is saved.  Eloi Leclerc.
 
I invite you to ask the Lord in Communion, His same feelings, to love God and your neighbor as yourself.