Friday of 20th week, uneven numbered year Vendredi de la 20e semaine, année impaire

“Jesus said to him, ’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.You must love your neigbour as yourself.”
Saturday 25 July 2015

Rt.1, 14-22 Ps.145 Mt.22,34-40

Friday of 20th Week, uneven 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, ’Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?”

“What is the greatest commandment? - they interrogate Jesus as with a master whose authority they wish to check. Jesus leads the people who question him towards a more radical interrogation concerning the truth of their attachment to God and also about the mystery of his person. It is of great importance to discuss which is the greatest commandment. There are 613 commandments, split into 365 defenses, the same as the number of days in a year, and 248 commandments, the same number as the components in the human body. The aim of the question is not so much to establish a hierarchy of precepts, than to discover the very essence of moral requirements. Jesus is srested and invites his disciples to love their brothers with the very Love of God. God draws humanity towards himself, his little chosen creature, loved like his child, the only One. Our response can be to freely embark upon a way of confidence towards God and approach Him. In the Bible, God is presented as being the Bridegroom of his people. The way to encounter God is to allow God’s Love to turn into Love for our brothers and sisters. Jesus, the Son of the Father, introduces us into this new filiation which makes of us brothers and sisters who love one another.”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. The second resembles it : ’You must love your neighbour as yourself.’

God makes a Covenant with mankind and, through the law, reveals his will. The least respect we can have towards God requires that we don’t reduce Divine will to a concept where each one of us forms an image of it, one that is void of any

Spirit, void of any dynamism. We have a feeling that it is by the commitment of his whole existence that Jesus proves the truth of his response : Hear, Israel, the Lord our God is One. You will love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your heart, with all your mind, and he also adds you will love your neighbour as yourself.God is this King of Love who is a fire that shines forth and enlightens, drawing to himself all things, ending up consuming everything in the Tenderness of God. In order to enter into this Love, Jesus gives us His Holy Spirit, a Communion of Love of the Father and the Son, inviting us to the Father’s table.

“On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets too.”

Jesus therefore links the love of one’s neighbor with the love of God, placing the Love of God first, since the second commandment is similar to the first. However ’similar’ draws our attention and establishes a straight relationship between the two commandments. It is difficult to make a strict equivalence between the love of the One who is good, the merciful, the perfect being, and the love of our neighbour, with whom we have imperfect relationships marked by sin or violence. It remains, however, that the equivalence between the two commandments of love question the Christian conscience, that easily allows itself to to privilege one or to forget the other.So Jesus invites us not to oppose the Love of God and that of men. The two commandments resemble each other : love God, the Creature and Redeemer of mankind, and love man, who is at the image and likeness of God. In uniting the Love of God and the Love for our brothers and sisters, Jesus shows us the Way for our life. The Commandment of Love is given to us so that God’s Love takes everything in us, permitting us to love one another within this very Love of God. It has us enter into a love that is a ’fusion of love’ in the distinction of the persons who remain unique in the Infinite Love that unites them. God’s Love brings about this plan of Love by inviting his creature who in Jesus becomes his child at the table of his great Love. Love transforms us so that we become Love! “In the heart of the Church,”said St Teresa of Lisieux, “I shall be love!”

Let us ask for the grace to understand that God is a fire of Love who burns us so we can turn into Love.

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