by Sr. Dorothy Rolf, ND
In today’s Gospel message, Matthew 22:34-40, the Pharisees ask Jesus “which commandment in the law is the greatest?” There are many laws stated in the books of Exodus and Leviticus, therefore they hope to catch Jesus in some practice that would delineate the rest. But Jesus answers: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with your entire 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.”
This challenges one to ask how I live this commandment. If I love God with my whole heart, soul, and mind, then my every thought, desire, and feeling will be to respond in love to God’s presence and invitations throughout the day. Are my first thoughts of the day about how I will live this love of God? My heart calls me to reach out in love, my soul calls me to desire the most good for the other and my mind gives me the courage and energy to do it. It almost seems natural that to love God is shown in love for our neighbor. Our neighbor is never far from us, always in our family, workplace, church, neighborhood, the homebound, the sick and the dying, the forgotten and the lonely and you can name the rest.
Pedro Arrupe, former Superior General of the Jesuits, wrote “nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in Love in a quite absolute final way. What seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how your spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.”
This week: take time to examine the ways you love each day.