The Command to Love

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August 19, 2011 by bobet888

“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 neighbour as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:34-40

August 19, 2011 Bible Reading and Gospel

THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT
Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
The Kerygma Family

We are all well aware that the greatest commandment of all is to love. The call to love is at the heart of the Christian calling. It is important that we consider this call a commandment and not just a choice that we may or may not make. The call to love is a commandment central to the life of a disciple of Jesus. This means that any disciple of Jesus needs to focus on learning how to live unselfishly. It is only in living a selfless life that we are able to focus on loving God and others.

Maybe the greatest sin of today’s society is selfishness; maybe not. Whatever the case, one of the greatest hindrances to holiness is selfishness. Selfishness does not allow a person to look beyond his desires, his felt needs and wants. It is this preoccupation with felt needs that can cripple a person’s capacity to give themselves in love for another person. It is not that all felt needs or emotions are bad or even wrong, but when they are allowed to govern a person’s life over and above the principles of love and self-giving, they become the essential foundation for the things that distract us all from our true calling to love God and our neighbor.

Even a distraction is not yet a sin provided we work diligently to overcome it. Here arises the need for discernment to help us know when a mere distraction takes on the character of sin as we succumb to it. If we can keep distractions from moving down this path, we will find it far easier to follow the command to love. One of the greatest aids to Christian discernment is the Scriptures. This is why we need to commit to read and learn from it. If we meditate on the Word of God regularly, we will be able to form our minds according to the mind of God. This will serve us in good stead as we seek to follow wherever Christ’s calling takes us.

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