Today’s Gospel: Matthew 22, 34-40
Even young children can usually recite the great commandment to love God above all else and the secondary commandment to love one’s neighbor as oneself. The challenge for each of us, however, is to understand just what Jesus is asking of us and put that understanding into action. As much as we would like to continuously and without question put God first in our lives, we face outside pressure, demands on our time, and constant reminders of how the world is not always fair and loving.
We don’t always give God the time we should, and we sometimes question God and our faith when we face hardship and see injustice – the very times we should look most to God for guidance and support. Through prayer and reflection, we should strive to find a way each day to place our complete trust in God’s hands.
Loving our neighbors as ourselves presents an even greater challenge – while it is easier to treat those we like without judgment and with respect and mercy, it is more difficult to do with those we don’t perceive as “neighbors.” Yet we are all brothers and sisters in God’s eyes. It is not for us to judge others. Our call is to assist those most in need, whether through prayer or action, so that they too may find the call to live out God’s greatest commandments.
And for those closest to us – those whom we should find it easiest to love unconditionally – our goal should be to display that love in all ways and every day. We need to seek out the means to turn frustration into patience, annoyance into gratitude, grudges into forgiveness, and anger into love.
When it is most difficult for me to live out the two greatest commandments given to me by God through Jesus? How can I find the way to make them a part of my life?
Jesus, son of God and my brother, allow me to accept the will of your Father without question and to see You in all those I encounter in my life. Grant me the strength and grace to fulfill your greatest commandment. Amen.
Copyright 2016 Karen M. Guglielmoni
Karen Guglielmoni is Faith Formation and Pastoral Coordinator at St. Veronica Church in South San Francisco, California, which has also been her parish throughout her life. A cradle Catholic, she feels fortunate to have the love and support of a devoutly Catholic family and an extensive “church family”. Karen lives near her parish with her husband and their daughter.