Love for God and love for our neighbour

“‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments’” (Matthew 22:36-40).

Love your neighbour – This is not all that Jesus says about love. The way some people speak about love, you would think that there was nothing more to say than this: Love your neighbour. Jesus tells us that there is something else that we must say about love. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”: This, says Jesus, is “the first and greatest commandment.” This is not to say that loving our neighbour is unimportant. What it is saying is this: Loving the Lord comes first. How are we to love the Lord? Are we suggesting that we can love the Lord without loving one another? How can we really love the Lord, if we do not love one another? We emphasize the importance of loving our neighbour, but we do not make this the be-all and end-all. We must, always, remember that there’s something more than this – loving the Lord our God.

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