Legal Property

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Holy Week, Wednesday - The Greatest Commandment

One of the unnamed scribes (lawyers) who came to Jesus during that last week asked Him, "...which is the first commandment of all?" Jesus said, " 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

The scribe agreed with Jesus, repeating back to him the commandments, and then he said that to love God and your neighbor as yourself was more important than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices you could do. Jesus told the scribe he wasn't far from the Kingdom of God.

What does it mean to love God that much? It means more than your car, more than your house, more than your bank account, more than your spouse, parents, children, or anyone. It means that when you love God more than anything and you love your neighbor as you love yourself, you are about as good as any human being can get.

It's a curious thing, loving God that much. Now, I love my husband more than I can explain. I love my kids more than life. My grandkids are the best ever. But BECAUSE I love God more, it doesn't take love from any of my family, it increases the love.

Even more curious perhaps is loving my neighbor as myself. Jesus demonstrated this constantly. He could be bone tired, but still could give out one more healing to someone who wasn't whole. He could be in a hurry, but he took time to bless the children. He could be on the way to the cross and stop to comfort women alongside the road.

Now, I don't stand looking in the mirror in the morning and say, "Wow, Anne, I really love you." I'd feel pretty silly doing that, wouldn't you? However, when I'm hungry, I eat. When I'm chilly, I put on a sweater. When I need a new pair of sneakers, I buy them. That's what Jesus meant by loving yourself--and loving your your neighbor.

You don't have to be rich to help in some way. Some things are free: a hug, a smile, taking the time to listen, visiting someone who is in need. You don't have to be active physically; if you have some change to spare, donate selectively to worthy charities. Take a meal to someone hungry; give your time to a charity, to a senior center, to your local school. Donate blood or platelets.

It's not hard to show your love. However, even if it were hard, you would still take care of yourself to your best ability. Jesus asked that we love others as much as we love ourselves. Have I? Have you?