“THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT” ((Mt 22:34-40)

My dear brothers and sisters,

Since Jesus talks about LOVE today, I have a practical wisdom to share with yours: "To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little. To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all."

Why did Jesus say that "You shall love your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind and you shall love your neighbors as yourself" are the two greatest commandments?

If we listened carefully the Gospel passage today, we also heard Jesus giving us the answer why these 2 commandments are the greatest because the whole law and the prophets depend on them. God chose Israel people as his own people in order to reveal his laws through Moses and to reveal his plan for our salvation through the prophets. Finally, he sent his only Son Jesus Christ to tell us in person these 2 commandments are the greatest.

In these 2 short commandments, we see 3 persons involved in this godly relationship - God, us-ourselves, and our neighbors. Jesus puts God's relationship to us before our relationship to one another. "You shall love your God" goes before " you shall love your neighbor." We shall not only love God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind, but love him before we love our neighbors. This is the right order of love because God is our creator, our redeemer and our very being. God the Father is our creator, God the Son is our redeemer, and God the Holy Spirit is our very being & existence since "in him we live and move and have our being." Since God is love, when we love God, we love love. This is when we can love our neighbors as ourselves because God is in us. He is the loving agent that allows us to love one another because we recognize God's presence, God's being in others especially the poor, the sick, the outcasts, the prisoners, the lonely elders, and even in our unreasonable crying child, and our angry spouse. This is the secret code of love which enables Mother Teresa to embrace the care for Aids patients, for the homeless, and for the sick. Jesus revealed God's secret code of love for us, for our happiness as he promised: "I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."

My dear brothers and sisters. This is God's will clearly spoken and written for us. If we want to know God's will for our life, this is it, this is his will that we love him with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind and love our neighbors as ourselves.

The infant Jesus was born into the holy family of Mary and Joseph. They practice this secret code of love among Joseph, Mary, and Jesus perfectly because Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity incarnated among them. Let us ask Jesus especially when we receive him in the Eucharist today to be incarnated in our heart and in our family so that God's love will unite us together in his most holy Trinity of The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Pt Hoàng Thương

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