Friday of 2Oth week, even numbered year Vendredi de la 20e semaine

“Jesus answered’ You must love your God with your whole heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. You must love your neighbour as yourself.”
Thursday 16 June 2016

Ez.37,1-14 Ps.106 Mt.22,34-40

Friday of 20th week, even numbered year

"But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to put him to the test, one of them put a further question’

Suspicion is hanging in the air whereas Jesus speaks about what is important for each person, giving homage to the truth. He condenses the faith of Israel joining together the Love of God and love of neighbour, an attitude which must help each one journey towards the meaning of true life.

A love for God which does not open up and flow into a love of brotherhood does not reach its true dimension. A love for sisters and brothers which does not flow into love for God will not hold out.

To follow Jesus requires this double and radical openness to God the Father and to our human brothers.

Jesus goes on his way, giving of his friendship and his Love with a Truth that opens up, nourishing search.

Truth cannot be without a search and exchanges, it has us hold firm in an openness which seeks to become real.

If God makes a covenant with man, he reveals to him his will through precepts of the law.

Not only is Jesus’ trial on a level of principle but on a level of a witness of life.

It is by the commitment of all of his existence that Jesus proves the truth of his response.

’Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said to him’ You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment.’

Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees, Herodian’s and Sadducees as a Rabbi, as a master whose truth they want to be sure of.

It is of utmost importance for them, this question of the ’great commandment’- in Judaism, we can count 613 precepts of the Law, split up

into 365 defences, the number of days in the year, and 248 commandments, the same number of parts in the human body.

We can understand the need to clear away and set aside what is essential from the accessories. By his answers, Jesus leads his questioners to an even more radical questioning about how true their attachments is to God and about the mystery of his human person.

Jesus is always in a state of immense humility as he stands there faced with his opponents. He comes back again to the essential : what it means to love. It is in fact what is most of all lacking in us. The Love of God itself is ’verified’ by the practical love of one’s neighbour, and this will not lead us into error.

“The second resembles it : you must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets too.”

Jesus’ pedagogy is completely given over to another what he says he lives in truth! Jesus links Love of God and neighbour together whilst placing Love of God first of all.

The similar term draws our attention for it establishes a narrow relationship between the two which cannot be commented in a simplistic way.

The Love of God, which is ood, merciful, perfect and the love of neighbour with which we have a relationship marked by reciprocal sin isn’t quite the same thing!

Jesus invites us not to be opposed to the Love of God and that of mankind, the two commandments are similar : love God, love the Creator and redeemer of man, and love mankind, the image and resemblance of God.

These loves are complementary :

’Beloved, let us love on another, for Love comes from God and whoever loves is born from God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God for God is Love’, says Saint John.

Jesus’ disciples open himself up to a seeking which aims at two realities : a love for neighbour prolonging personal intimacy with him, and a love for God whose authenticity is checked in fraternal encounters with other people.

We ask for the grace to be true vis à vis to God and vis à vis to our brothers.