The Christian life is not about doing what we have to do in order to be saved. It is about living in relationship. Believing that God is the Holy Mystery from whom all things have come, we realize our connection with all others. We do not have an emotional love for all our “neighbors”, but we have a deep concern for their well-being, a desire that they be treated with justice and a respect for them, human and non-human. Love and the desire to relate to all others in love becomes stronger than the fears and aversions that shape our attitudes and actions. It is born of a realization of our relationship in the One who holds us in union. We long for and work for a transformed people on a transformed earth filled with the Presence of God.
Let us love one another as Christ has loved us.
Reflect on how the Christian life can transform us into more compassionate
and just persons. Where do your attitudes and actions contradict your values as followers of Jesus?
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.”
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.
They that love not, do not know God; for God is love.
As for what concerns our relations with our fellow men, the anguish in our neighbor’s soul must break all precept. All that we do is a means to an end, but love is an end in itself, because God is love.
Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one.
He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor.
If we are to use our tools in the service of fitting in on Earth, our basic relationship to nature–even the story we tell ourselves about who we are in the universe–has to change.
Janine M. Benyus
The world of life, of spontaneity, the world of dawn and sunset and starlight, the world of soil and sunshine, of meadow and woodland, of hickory and oak and maple and hemlock and pineland forests, of wildlife dwelling around us, of the river and its wellbeing–all of this [is] the integral community in which we live.