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Love God and love your neighbor

Love God and love your neighbor

In the today’s gospel, Christ summarized the Ten Commandments into two. With the same words used by Moses, He repeated the same call in our first reading:

Hear, O Israel! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul…” Then, he amplified it by adding: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

These two commandments sums up the whole of our Christian life.

This teaching is the most central core of the Gospel because it is about love. The Apostle St. John gives the answer why this is so: “because God is love.” (1Jn 4:8)

Hence, he rightly concludes that the only way to know God is to love: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

The invitation to love God and to love our neighbor becomes very concrete in the love of neighbor. This invitation tells us a way by which we can love God whom we have never seen. God is spirit and cannot be seen. But we know that He created man in His own image. It presupposes that we see God in our neighbors

One of the mysteries of the Incarnation is for us to understand the Love of God.Our love for God must be manifested through the love we have for our neighbor, whereas the love we show our neighbor must come from the love we have for God. They are concomitantly interwoven.

St John articulated this better thus: “Anyone who says “I love God”, and hates his brother is a liar; since a man who does not love the brother that he can see cannot love God, whom he has never seen….” 1 Jn 4:20-21

Only when we live this way, with love for God and others, can we claim to be followers of Jesus.

Even if we talk about Jesus, unless we follow His way of living, we are only talking about Him and not believing in Him with our lives. Jesus wants us to love Him and to live as He lived, in a sacrificial gift for others. Jesus loves us. Will we love Him and follow Him, by loving one another?