LOVE FOR GOD AND NEIGHBOR

When my maternal grandmother was still alive, I remember having a deep conversation with her. I asked what brings her joy. She told me that she feels very happy whenever she sees her children loving and caring for each other. On the contrary, it pains her whenever her children fight and contradict each other. Other people say that siblings tend to become closer with one another when parents have already passed away. For me, it is still best to foster unity and allow siblings to experience this while their parents are still alive.

Today’s Gospel reveals to us the two great commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself.” The scribes asked Jesus which among the commandments must come first, but Jesus gave these two. These remind us that one cannot fulfill a great commandment without the other; no one can fully love God without loving his neighbor.

My grandmother’s idea of happiness is knowing that her children are all in good terms with each other and it is enough to make her happy and at peace. To love God with your all means loving your neighbor wholeheartedly just like how you love yourself. God, like my grandmother, would be glad to see His creatures in harmony and in peace with each other. More than our long prayers before the altar, God finds delight when we openly forgive our transgressors and when we offer to Him a heart that is contrite and repentant. More than burnt offerings, God delights in concrete acts of love like alms giving and charitable works toward our brothers and sisters.

By: Sem. Paulo O. Magistrado

Today’s Gospel

Mk 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

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