You are obliged to love your neighbor as yourself, and loving him, you ought to help him spiritually, with prayer, counseling him with words, and assisting him both spiritually and temporally, according to the need in which he may be, at least with your goodwill if you have nothing else. - St. Catherine of Siena: (1347 – 1380: One of three women who were declared Doctors of the Catholic Church)
Gospel Text: (MT 22:34-40)
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
Jesus challenges us explicitly. Our love of God must be the motivating force in how we think, speak, and act. Our attitudes and motives, our outlook on life, must be reflective of a genuine love for God and others, and not simply for love of ourselves.
We cannot be selective of the people we love or how we love.
We must recognize that genuine love in our hearts must be expressed by our love in action. Love of God and love of neighbor are not measured by externals of piety or impressive words. We truly love only through our selfless thoughts, words and actions, by our imitation of Christ.
How can we transform our love? We can pray simply and humbly before God, acknowledge our weakness and sin and ask the Lord to open our eyes to see His presence in every person and situation.
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