“The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments”

Love is what it’s all about, says Jesus in Matthew 22:34-40.

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.”

I have written about this passage before. It appears again as Friday’s reading, so it bears a revisit here. This is the heart of Jesus’ teaching: love. Love of God, love of one another. Your love bears fruit, in your heart, in your home, and in your community.

Jesus is adamant on his point. All of the law and all that the prophets taught were based on these commandments to love. Think about it: If you love God and if you love your neighbor as much as you love yourself, won’t you automatically obey the rest of the commandments?

We seem to live in a world of hate today. When we love instead, we become the antidote to that hate. A hater has a hard time overcoming an act of love. As the popular saying goes, “Love wins.”

 

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