Matthew 22: 34-40
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had
silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them
a scholar of the law tested him by asking, "Teacher,
which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said
to him, "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 neighbor
as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on
these two commandments."
Dear Lord, I believe in you, because you have a
plan for me that will bring me to be like
you. I hope in you, because your example and your
grace give me the strength to be able to identify
my will with yours. I love you, because only by
loving you can I be transformed into you and be
Petition: Give me, Lord,
the grace to practice charity faithfully.
1. Wanting What God Wants: What is true love?
Quoting the Roman historian, Sallust, Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI shows us
what the authentic content of love is: “To want the
same thing, and to reject the same thing was recognized
by antiquity as the authentic content of love: the one
becomes similar to the other, and this leads to community
of will and thought” ( Deus Caritas Est , 17).
This quote helps us understand that to love is to
identify our will with God’s will. This leads us to
be like God. This fact corrects the error of our
first parents who disobeyed God.
2. Love Has Two Dimensions: True love has two dimensions:
love for God and love for our neighbor. The first
epistle of John, known as the “Magna Carta” of charity,
expresses frequently and clearly the close relationship between them. One
cannot exist without the other: “No one who fails to
act in righteousness belongs to God, nor anyone who does
not love his brother” (1 John 3:10); “Beloved, let us
love one another, because love is of God; everyone who
loves is begotten by God and knows God” (1 John
4:7); “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must
love one another” (1 John 4:11); “If anyone says, ‘I
love God,’ but hates his brother, he is a liar;
for whoever does not love a brother whom he has
seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. This
is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God
must also love his brother” (1 John 4:20-21).
3. Loving Others: Loving God requires loving
others. This is not easy, especially in a world that
highly esteems individualism and permits stepping on others to get
ahead. If loving others according to the Old Testament requirement,
“as you love yourself” is difficult, we can imagine how
difficult it is to love others according to Christ’s requirement,
“as I have loved you” (cf. John 13:34), which is
a true Christian’s hallmark: “This is how all will know
that you are my disciples, if you have love for
one another” (John 13:35).
How many times do we judge
only from appearances or judge people only by their physical
traits or defects? It’s so easy to comment on peoples’
defects, imperfections, and ways of acting; yet, it is so
difficult to praise constantly what is positive in them. One
of the best ways to love our neighbor is to
seek charity in speech.
with Christ: Dear Jesus, give me the grace to love
others with all my effort and good will. I want
to contemplate you, Lord, so that I may learn from
you how to love them to the point of giving
my life for them.
I will practice charity towards others in a very concrete
By Father José LaBoy, LC