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. Therefore, to ask what commandment is the greatest was a usual question. However, the Pharisees approach Jesus in a hostile way, hoping to discredit 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, assembled in a body, and one of them, 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. Yet, they do not give him their hearts.
- They choose an intelligent spokesman to test Jesus.
- The question is a good one and Jesus has the perfect answer.
- Love underlies every commandment.
- Love for God must be total, involving every faculty.
- Love for neighbor must be equal to love for self.
- Love is the total foundation.
- The disciple must remember these words, and write them on his heart.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, give me a simplicity of heart.
- Why should I test you? You died on the cross for me.
- Jesus, I surrender my heart, my will, my affections, my desires.
- Jesus, my eternity will be love! I will begin now.
- Jesus, if I truly love you, I will love my neighbor.
- Jesus, write these words on my heart.
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.