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A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 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."

REFLECTION: "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" 

Sometimes I complicate my life because I, like the Pharisees, pride myself with knowledge. The Pharisees knew all 613 precepts of the Torah, and the many interpretations of the law. Because of their pride, they tested the Lord.

He summarized all their years of book learning and the whole of the law in two great commandments. The first one was Deuteronomy 6:5, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might". The second was Leviticus 19:18, "you shall love your neighbor as yourself”.

The simplicity of His answer tells all. But who is our neighbor? It makes no difference who we are, what we have done, where we live or if we have lots of friends or not. Our neighbor is he who is right in front of us. Jesus gave us a profound and simple teaching.

There is no need to be rude, indifferent, or get into disagreements, arguments, unforgiveness, laziness or holding on to grudges. Our stay on this earth is too short. We should not sin because of others.

Appreciate family and friends, and remove toxic people from your life. Whatever the problem, remember God gave us two commandments of which our journey together is justified.

Whatever God asks of us, He has already given us the tools, gifts and the ability to follow His way. Let us be respectful, kind and forgiving, filling the wounds left behind with gratitude and joy.

God has promised, if we keep His commandments, we and our descendants will prosper forever.

God Bless You


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