Mt 22: 34-40
When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Love one another
We learn from today’s Old Testament reading (Ex 22: 20-26) that one loves God by showing compassion toward the needy, the foreigner, the widow, the orphan. Today’s Gospel can be translated that the second great commandment is the same as the first: we serve God here on earth only by serving our neighbor, especially the neediest among us. Even the respect we show toward God is a means of serving our neighbor, when we relate toward God in a way that never scandalizes our neighbor. In this line, Jesus says “the sabbath is made for man,” for it is at our Eucharistic celebration that gratitude toward God and hope of resurrection become motivating forces in our lives.
—Fr. Jack Zupez, SJ, is a member of the Jesuits Central and Southern Province. He lives at Jesuit Hall in St. Louis and has served in full-time prison ministry.
Lord Jesus, your one command was that we love one another as you have loved us. Strengthen us to live like members of your body, showing your compassionate care for others. May we live as God’s children now, in preparation for an eternity of joy with all these, our sisters and brothers, in heaven. Amen.
—Fr. Jack Zupez, SJ