The Greatest Commandment (Mt 22:34-40)
O Holy Spirit, send your divine fire to help me love God and my neighbor.
Pictures Jesus speaking to the Pharisees and the crowds.
The Rabbis had 613 commandments, and a common question was, “Which is the greatest?” The Pharisees approach Jesus in a hostile way, testing him because he claimed the power to interpret and even to change laws.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
The Pharisees, seeing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, came to him. A scholar of the law tested him by asking “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
Jesus said, “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.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The Pharisees delight that Jesus has silenced their enemies, the Sadducees.
- Unfortunately, the Pharisees test Jesus instead of following him.
- Their question is a good one and Jesus has the perfect answer.
- Love is the very heart of Jesus’ Kingdom.
- Our first love is for God and it must be total.
- Our love for God must embrace everyone else.
- Remember these words, and write them on your heart.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, I surrender my heart, my will, my affections, my desires.
- Jesus, you give total love and you expect total love.
- My eternity will be love! I must begin now.
- Jesus, help me to love you.
- I cannot love just you. Give me a tender heart, open to others.
- Jesus, everything depends on these commands.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will allow no sin in my heart.
+ I will be consciously aware of loving my neighbor.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
On these two commandments, depend the whole law and the prophets.