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Movimento Apostolico
Movimento Apostolico
The Gospel of the day
By the Central Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Apostolic Movement
Mgr. Costantino Di Bruno

 

The whole law and the prophets depend

Rt 1,1.3-6.14b-16.22; Ps 145; Mt 22,34-40

23 AUGUST

The answer that Jesus gives to the Doctor of the Law is taken from Chapter VI of Deuteronomy and concerns love for the Lord and from Chapter XIX of Levitic as regards love of neighbour. Who questions the Master knows what both Deuteronomy and Leviticus contain in these two norms. The unsaid but necessary truth is this: the love for the Lord asked in Deuteronomy is very pure obedience to the Law of Sinai. It is all remembered in Chapter V. We can thus translate the first Commandment: "You will love the Law of your God, of the Lord, who is one, who is your Lord, with all your soul, with all your heart and with all your mind". Without obedience to the Law of Sinai, there is no true love. Now this Law contains only three Commandments that directly concern the Lord. The other seven are dedicated to love of neighbour. If the commandments are transgressed there is no love and there is no obedience. There is no observance of the first Commandment of charity. Loving is obeying the Law. St. Paul encloses all the Commandments in the Law of love.

Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) "You shall love your neighbour as yourself." Love does no evil to the neighbour; hence, love is the fulfilment of the law. And do this because you know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness (and) put on the armour of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh (Rm 13,8-14).

Even the second Commandment of charity - you will love your neighbour as yourself - is not left to the love that each individual nurtures towards himself. It is strictly established in every detail of the Lord. It is not the man who establishes how to love, who to love and where to love. Everything springs from the heart of the Father. Even what Jesus says in his golden rule, "Whatever you want men to do to you, you too should do it to them: in fact this is the Law and the Prophets" (Mt 7:12), must be interpreted correctly and lived correctly. If a heart is pure, holy and perfect before God, it wants one thing. Instead, if it is impure, wicked and dishonest it wants other things. This commandment must also be inserted into the Word of the Lord. Every man must want the knowledge of truth and charity, he must want everyone else to know the truth and experience true charity. If one does not want God, both the Law and the Prophets disappear instantly. Jesus speaks from the Gospel. When does a Christian really love? When he wants for others his very obedience to the Gospel. He wants others to live the Gospel as he is living it. He wants eternal salvation and gives eternal salvation. If we take the revelation away, Jesus' golden rule loses its truth.

When the Pharisees heard that he 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 neighbour as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."

The truth that must guide us in understanding Jesus' answer is only one: for the Christian, "love" means "obeying". The greater obedience is and the greater love is. Jesus became obedient until death on the cross. His is crucified love. If we deprive the love of obedience to the will of God, ours is no longer love, but an ephemeral feeling of our heart. Today it has become almost impossible to affirm this truth. Love is what every single person wants. It is no longer what the Lord wants.

Mother of God, Angels and Saints arrange that Christians pass from feeling to obedience.



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