Updated: Oct 29, 2020
“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 first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." This was the answer our Lord gave to a scholar of the law when he asked, “which is the greatest commandment."
The Jewish law is contained in the Torah. This is the first five books of the bible. Sometimes it is called the Pentateuch. Under Jewish law, there were 613 commandments. They governed everything from what is work on the Sabbath, to how to wash your hands prior to a meal. Some of these commandments were directly from scripture. Others arose out of tradition and commentaries on the law. As time went on, these commandments became harder and harder for one to fulfill.
At the time of Jesus, many of the religious leaders of the time had made it almost impossible for one to keep the law and they had become more concerned with the outer appearance than with what was going on within them. I tend to look at it as a piece of candy. The Pharisees and Sadducees got so caught up in the wrapper around the candy that they missed the sweetness held within.
This can happen to us. We can become so good at playing Christian that we miss the voice of Christ Himself. We need to work on loving our Lord with all of our hearts, minds, and souls. In other words, with everything we are. Then we need to love our neighbors as we do ourselves. I know I am really good at looking out for myself, but do I treat others that way? Do I treat them as I like to be treated, or do I ignore them and turn away from the poor? Do I forget about those suffering or in nursing homes that no one comes to visit? It is easy to feel guilty. What we need to do is to remember what God has done for us. As St. Paul tells the Thessalonians. In doing so we see how God was there in our own lives. This will give us the compassion we need to treat others well.
So this week, take some time to love God with all of your being and to remember what He has done for you. Then ask Him to give you opportunities to treat others well. By doing this, you fulfill all of the law. Something to think about. May God richly bless you always!