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Jason Britsch, SJJun 6, 2024 12:00:00 AM< 1 min read

6 June 2024

Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

            In today’s Gospel, a scribe asks Jesus for the greatest commandment, and Christ responds: Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. In a sense, these are two distinct commandments; Christ tells the scribe that love of the Lord comes first, and love of neighbor comes second. But it is also instructive that Christ puts these two commandments together. The scribe asks Jesus only for the “first” of all the commandments, and Christ offers two.

            The reason is that these two commandments, while distinct, are inseparable. They belong together. We cannot truly love God if we do not love and serve our neighbor, especially the least of our neighbors. And we cannot truly love our neighbor if we do not love and serve God, the One who is the greatest good and fulfillment of our neighbor’s desires. For this reason, the two commandments form the greatest commandment together. Today, let us pray for the grace to love God and neighbor, as Christ commands us.