Commentary on the Gospel of

NOVICE MASTER Fr. Johnson Joseph, cmf

To love God totally with one’s heart, soul, and mind and to love one’s neighbour are the greatest commandments of all. These two are inseparable. Anyone who says, ‘I love God’, and hates his brother, is a liar" (1 Jn 4:20). Because God is love and that is why we can love. We are not only called to love; we are called to love with all our being.  We must give of ourselves completely and without reserve. But loving God and loving one’s neighbour remain concepts unless they are concretized. This doctor of the Law who raised the question knew what the first commandment was, but he has probably never lived it. It can happen among us. We know all the precepts, but we do not truly live by them. To love is to serve. To serve lovingly our brothers and sisters is the only proof of love.

Loving God is the foundation of the very possibility of loving anyone else for the simple reason that, only in the relationship with God can I feel fundamentally loved. Loving the other as yourself means allowing the other to experience what we have lived in our relationship with God. Only if we nurture a healthy relationship with God, we begin to love others in a healthy way. St. Augustine said: Love and do what you want. According to the Gospel today it can be said that you love, and you can all other things and they will in tune with the great commandment. Without love, there is no reason for us to live. Without love there is no purpose for life. The question ‘what is the greatest commandment’ in our life is a question that everyone can ask.


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