November 18

Reflection

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.
Matthew 22:34-40

The Christian life is about realizing that God loves us and living in this relationship.  It is about being intentional about a deepening relationship with the God in whom we live and have our being. Realizing that God is the One from whom all things have come, we begin to realize our connection with all others. Love and the desire to relate to all others in love become stronger than the fears and aversions that shape our attitudes and actions. 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, born of a realization of our relationship in the One who holds us in union. We long to be a transformed people on a healed earth filled with the Presence of God.

Prayer

Let us love one another as You have loved us.

Action

What is Jesus saying here? How have I interpreted that? Reflect on how probing into and living out this vision can change us into more compassionate and just persons.

Suggested Reading

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.”
Matthew 22:34-40

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.
 John 4:18

They that love not, do not know God; for God is love.
John 4:8

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.
Edith Stein

Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one.
Nikolai Berdyaev

 He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor.
Venerable Bede

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

We are the earth, made of the same stuff; there is no other, no division between us and “lower” or “higher” forms of being.
Estella Lauder

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.
Thomas Berry

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
Morrie Schwartz

It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one’s neighbor.
Eric Hoffer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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