Saturday, August 27, 2011

Two Commandments of Love

Friday, August 19, 2011
20th Week Year I
Mt. 22:34-40 (Two Commandments of Love)

In today’s Gospel, Jesus gives us the 2 great commandments of love on which we are to base our lives:  love God with everything you have within you (heart, soul, mind), and love your neighbor as yourself.  But where do we, sinful and selfish as we are, get the power to love like this?  For this answer we must turn to the Beloved Disciple John.  He tells us that God Himself is love.  “God’s love was revealed in our midst in this way:  He sent His only Son to the world that we might have life through Him.  Love, then, consists in this: not that we have loved God, but that He has loved us and has sent His Son as an offering for our sins.  Beloved, if God has loved us so, we must have the same love for one another.”  Love always begins with God for He is the origin and source of all love.  We have to first receive His love before we can love Him or anyone else.  We cannot believe in our own goodness and so love ourselves as we ought, until we experience that we are loved.  But since we live in a sinful world, we have all been wounded by sin, our own and that of others.  Those of us who have been blessed with good and loving families find they are able to love easily.  But they must remember that “to whom more has been given, more will be required”.  They are called upon to sacrifice themselves with a heroic love like Christ did on the Cross.  And those of us who have grown up in unloving and even abusive families must not despair.  Christ has suffered their abuse with them.  He has said that whatever is done to the least is done to Him.  He loves the abused with a special and tender love, but they must open themselves to Him and allow Him to love them where they hurt the most.  Surrendering every part of our being to Jesus is the way He wants us to love Him.  Once we do that and really believe in our own God-given goodness, then we can turn in love towards our neighbors with a true and Godlike love.  We will be able to fulfill the new commandment of love given by Jesus at the Last Supper:  “Love one another as I have loved you.”

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