34 法利賽人聽見耶穌堵住了撒都該人的口，他們就聚集。35 內中有一個人是律法師，要試探耶穌，就問他說：36 「夫子，律法上的誡命，哪一條是最大的呢？」37 耶穌對他說：「你要盡心、盡性、盡意愛主─你的 神。38 這是誡命中的第一，且是最大的。239 其次也相倣，就是要愛人如己。40 這兩條誡命是律法和先知一切道理的總綱。」
If possible, read the whole chapter to see the full picture of what is happening here. Then focus on the following section:
34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
- The entire law hinges on its central commands to love God and neighbor. All the law and the prophets spoke was intended to nurture love for God and love for one’s neighbor. God is to be loved wholeheartedly, which is the greatest commandment. But this is impossible without the aid of God; hence the words of Augustine of Hippo, “Give what you command, Lord, and then command whatever you will”.
- In what way do I want to grow in love right now: Toward God? Toward those in my family? Toward the needy? Toward myself? How would I do it? Use the above prayer of Augustine of Hippo as a prayer and ask God to help me to grow in love in the specific way shown by the Holy Spirit.
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little while longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
One of the Pharisees asked Jesus which was the greatest commandment. Jesus named two. Why would it be difficult to fulfill the second commandment without fulfilling the first one? Verse 39 suggests we cannot love others until we first love ourselves. Discuss. Ask God to help you to respect yourself in order that you might love others as you love yourself.