Daily Reflection – Aug 19, 2016
Friday 19 August 2016
First Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-14
Give thanks to the Lord, his love is everlasting
Gospel Reading: Matthew 22:34-40
Today’s Saint: St John Eudes (Optional Memorial)
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.”
Love the Lord your God and your neighbour as yourself.
In the Gospel today Jesus teaches us that the greatest commandment is love. During Jesus’ time, forgetting the real spirit behind the Ten Commandments, the Scribes and Pharisees were laying a heavy emphasis on the letter of the Commandments. The Commandments were given to establish our loving relationship with God and with one another. But people failed to understand this and were stuck only with the letter of the law.
As a consequence, the law was not able to effect the inner transformation in the lives of people. Knowing this fact very well Jesus summarises all the Ten Commandments and the teaching of the prophets as loving God and loving our neighbours. The second of these two commandments could be read as an imperative to love our neighbour in the measure that one loves oneself or to do so simply because he or she is a human being — one of us.
Jesus gives equal importance to the relationship with God, the vertical dimension and to the horizontal dimension relationship with our neighbour. We find these two dimensions perfectly combined and blended in the person of Jesus Himself. His love for His Father was expressed through His love for all of us, culminating in His death on the Cross.
Christianity is a religion of relationships. Our relationship with God and with one another adds to the meaning of our lives.
“Lord Jesus, help us to blend the vertical and horizontal dimensions of our relationships as You did.”