The Greatest Commandment

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law tested him by asking,
"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" 
He said to him,
"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." - Matthew 22:34-40

In the beginning of my faith journey, I worried that I loved my husband more than God.  As time wore on, and my faith grew, that's no longer the case.  My husband is an understanding guy!

Loving God can be easy, hard, simple and complicated.  Over the years, I have prayed in deep gratitude and praise.  But sometimes I looked up at the heavens and shook my fist, too.  I was so angry with Him, that I couldn't even express it.  Afterward, when I had calmed down, I would express my sorrow for being so angry, but I always felt God knew my heart.

Loving my "neighbor" as myself can be a completely different experience.  Some people are easy to love and others not so much.  With the ones that are hard to love, I try to be kind and patient and I keep my distance.  I have told my husband that avoidance for me is the best way to keep my mouth in check.  I might feel better for a moment after I slammed a person with my angry words, but that feeling is short lived and the repercussions can last a lifetime.  It's probably not worth it.

Years ago, while at a retreat, I asked a priest why some people made me so angry.  He said, "Because they're holding up a mirror."  Huh?  He explained to me that the very things that ticked me off in that person were qualities I disliked in myself.  Great.

Since then, I have tried to remind myself of that and looked carefully in the mirror whenever someone has gotten on my last nerve.  It has helped me discover things about myself.

Faith is action.  Loving God and our neighbor leads us to actually living our faith.  Others will see that and hopefully be intrigued enough to join us in the journey.

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