the highest standards of love
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." —Luke 10:27
Jesus emphasized "loving our neighbors" more than anyone had ever done. Before Jesus, "loving our neighbors" was one of the more obscure commandments of the 612 commandments of the old law. Then Jesus made "loving our neighbors" the second of all commandments. He even so closely linked the first two commandments that we cannot obey one without the other. Jesus made clear that "loving our neighbors" was:
- a matter of mercy (Lk 10:37),
- loving the Samaritans of our lives, that is, our enemies,
- dangerous, personal involvement with victims of injustice (see Lk 10:34ff),
- often at great personal expense, and
- sometimes even the supreme sacrifice of dying for our neighbors.
It is obvious that "loving our neighbors" is humanly impossible. To do this, we would have to be baptized into Jesus and have a new nature. Through the graces of our Baptisms, let us love the unlovable and the unloved. Let us break new ground in love. Let us love as Jesus loves.
Prayer: Father, send the Holy Spirit to lead me to a new dimension of love.
Promise: "This command which I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you." —Dt 30:11
Praise: Praise Jesus, the crucified and risen Good Samaritan!
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on Love on audio AV 58-1 or video V-58.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert A. Stricker, December 13, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 2003