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.” (Mt 22:34-40)
So many times, we get bogged down in what we are supposed to do. We question what commandment is important. Many people become hung up on breaking commandments, sometimes to the point where they become incredibly scrupulous.
All the rules, all the laws, all the commandments can be “boiled down” to one very important factor: love.
Without love, we are unable to function.
Jesus reminds us that we are to love the Lord, our God, completely and that we are to love our neighbor as our self.
I remember Bishop Grutka speaking to us about love before our Confirmation.
He would always tell people that one of the characteristics of love is that it was always fearful of hurting another.
I think there is a lot of truth in that.
When two people love one another, they will do anything not to hurt one another.
When we love our God, we will do anything not to hurt Him.
Ah, but that is a hard thing to think about, isn’t it? There are a lot of people who think, “God is incredibly perfect. He cannot be hurt.”
Every time we sin, we hurt God. Every time we hurt another person, we hurt God, since God dwells in each and every one of us.
It would do us well to remember today that, behind everything we do, we should remember to love the Lord our God completely and to love our neighbor as our self.
FAITH ACTION: Is there any person in your life you have hurt? Tell that person that you are sorry and ask forgiveness. Have you hurt God by committing sin? Seek forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.