Next Sunday's Gospel, October 23,2011
Jesus gives the two greatest commandments
Jesus summarizes all the commandments into two: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all you mind...You shall love your neighbor as yourself." The first law is the most important, loving God unconditionally. The second is the result and consequence of the first. St. Thomas tells us that when man is loved, God is loved because man is the image and likeness of God.
When we really love God we love others because we realize they too are made in the image and likeness of God. But if we think we love another without the recognition of his/her likeness to God, we fool ourselves. Because without God, there is no love since "God is love" as John tells us (1 John 4:8). Without God, we are focused on self and what another can do for me or how another can make me feel. Could this be a reason for so many relationships coming to an end? The focus is on me first, rather than God first and the other person second? It is said that you can't give what you don't have. If we don't first have the love of God flowing into our hearts we can't have love to give to another. It's like the energy we need to keep functioning throughout the day. If we don't feed our bodies with nutritional food, we can't continue to work. Likewise, if we don't fill our hearts with God's love, we won't have love to give.