Read­ing Time: 3 minutes



In this Sunday Gos­pel read­ing, the Jew­ish author­it­ies con­tin­ue to look for a way to trap Jesus in his own speech. The twenty-second chapter of the Gos­pel accord­ing to Mat­thew, is char­ac­ter­ized by a series of such traps. Gladly, Jesus emerged vic­tori­ous from them all, put­ting to shame the enemies of truth, justice, and right­eous­ness. After declar­ing unworthy of the mar­riage feast those who think the king­dom of heav­en is their private prop­erty (Matt 22:1–14), the Phar­isees and the Hero­di­ans temp­ted him with the issue of tax pay­ment (Matt 22:15–22). When he dis­mantled their evil plan, the Sad­ducees came up with the con­tro­versy over the resur­rec­tion of the body (Matt 22:23–33). As Mat­thew notes, “the same day some Sad­ducees came to him, say­ing there is no resur­rec­tion; and they asked him a ques­tion, say­ing…” (Matt 22:23).

The commandment to love

To the ques­tion of the Phar­isees, Jesus replied, “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. And a second is like it: you shall love your neigh­bour as your­self. On these two com­mand­ments hang all the law and the proph­ets” (Matt 22:37–40). As far as Jesus is con­cerned, the greatest, first, and second com­mand­ments are to love God with one’s entire being and to love one’s neigh­bour as well. To avoid any ambi­gu­ity, the term ‘love’ needs to be cla­ri­fied. The word love is the most used in con­tem­por­ary soci­ety and, at the same time, the most abused and mis­un­der­stood. The Greek verb rendered as love in Eng­lish is agapaō. Agapaō means to show the greatest soli­citude for, cher­ish, value, or hold in high esteem. Cer­tainly, it is a form of love, but it is love without pas­sion. That is, it is love devoid of human sen­ti­ments and emo­tions. It is a dis­in­ter­ested (unbiased) form of love. Con­sequently, God should be loved simply because God is God, and the neigh­bour should be loved simply because he or she is God’s creature. As Jesus under­lined, the whole law and the proph­ets stand on this single com­mand­ment of love with two branches (divine and human). Lov­ing God and neigh­bour is not a sign of holi­ness. It is just what humans should do. Today, reli­gions have a series of laws and reg­u­la­tions that, in some sense, do not allow their mem­bers to do things con­vin­cingly. Observing the entire laws of one’s church or group does not mean a per­son is sin­less and there­fore holy. It simply means the per­son is super­fi­cial, imma­ture, and prob­ably irresponsible.


Jesus gave us the greatest com­mand­ment of all time. The com­mand to love is a‑temporal. That is, it is time­less. We must love God first, and this love encom­passes all of our minds, our souls, and our hearts. Lov­ing God with all our mind, soul, and heart means our devo­tion toward God must come first (cf. Matt 6:33) and involves all that we think about (our mind), all of our soul (whatever we do), and all of our heart (what we desire the most).  God must be fully and etern­ally involved in whatever we are think­ing, doing, and desir­ing. We are also to love our neigh­bours the same way we love ourselves. Lov­ing oth­ers means tak­ing care of them as we do our own body, mind, and soul. It is use­less and hypo­crit­ic­al to pre­tend to be holy when we can­not show little con­cern for oth­ers espe­cially, the needy. Love is not talk­ing. Love is doing. Love is not hear­ing. Love is see­ing. True love does not take advant­age of the oth­er per­son. True love does not dis­crim­in­ate. True love does not pre­tend to receive. True love seeks to give, for it is in giv­ing that we also receive even more than we have giv­en. Our love must tran­scend our self-made bound­ar­ies. It must be exten­ded bey­ond our fam­ily, rel­at­ives, friends and well-wish­ers (cf. First Read­ing). Our love must be all-embracing. 

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPY OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE: SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vol. I)!! The reflec­tion for the 30th Sunday is found on pages 501–511. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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