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LOVEGREATEST COMMANDMENT

Read­ing Time: 2 minutes

Introduction

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 series of such traps. Gladly, Jesus emerged vic­tori­ous from them all, put­ting to shame the enemies of truth, justice and right­eous­ness. After declar­ing as unworthy for 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 on 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 greatest commandment

As men­tioned above, the greatest com­mand­ment is love of God and of neigh­bour, expressed through faith­ful­ness to God, right­eous­ness, justice and mercy. It is hypo­crisy for the Phar­isees to claim to keep the com­mand­ments when they are full of unfaith­ful­ness, unright­eous­ness, injustice and mer­ci­less­ness. If they want to be com­pletely clean, they must wash both the out­side and the inside of the ves­sel (cf. Matt 23:25). They fol­low and observe their numer­ous and unjust tra­di­tions, claim­ing to obey the com­mand­ments of God (cf. Mark 7:8–13). By mak­ing love on two dimen­sions (divine and human) the greatest com­mand­ment, Jesus gives the law a prac­tic­al approach. How can God accept the sac­ri­fice of a priest who ignores and refuses to assist a man who was almost at the point of death (Luke 10:30–37)? It is lov­ing God and his/her fel­low human beings that makes a per­son holy and accept­able to God. Any­thing oth­er than this, is not accept­able to God.…..

Conclusion

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 soul, and our heart. 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 hypo­crisy pre­tend­ing to.…

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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