The new horizon of love
The Gospel readings for these last few weeks have seen Jesus constantly harassed by Pharisees and Sadducees and Herodians, all of which seem to be trying to trip him up and catch him out, to get him to say something that they could arrest or at least vilify him for. There was obviously something about Jesus that challenged these people, all representatives of the established structures of the society in which Jesus lived.
What is encouraging here is that Jesus does not engage at all in the internal squabbles of the established religious groupings. Instead he quickly identifies the commandments which summarise the entirety of the Law and the Prophets and in doing so lays out a great challenge for one and all.
The command to love, both God and neighbour, is a tough one firstly because I don’t necessarily see God and my neighbour can be the most annoying person on earth and secondly, because it seems impossible to be totally selfless all the time.
What I think is interesting here is that in loving God there is a whole new horizon opened up which supersedes the rule based mentality that the Pharisee’s exhibited, and which we so easily find ourselves falling into. For Jesus the most important commandments are not those which dictate moral norms or liturgical practices (though these are incredibly important). The most important thing is love: love of God, and love of neighbour.
What would it look like if I was to let a love for God and neighbour really animate my daily life?
What are some of the practical ways that I can show love for those who are close to me?
What are some ways that I can show love to those who I find it difficult to be around?