When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees they got together and, to disconcert him, one of them put a question, ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’ Jesus said, ‘You must 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 resembles it: You must love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets also.’
for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus speaks of two commandments, and of course love of God and love of man, love of neighbour can be distinguished.
But ‘love’ of God alone leads to monstrous injustice as we see in religious persecution down the years and in every culture and faith.
And ‘love’ of neighbour only can lead to a shallowness and partiality that betrays its nobler ambition.
The two commandments need each other – to try to fulfil one without the other finally leads us nowhere.
Crucifix. Manresa House, Birmingham. (C) 2017, Allen Morris