By Father Andrew Kelly
In Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 22:34-40) Jesus is asked: “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
Jesus responded with the prayer from Deuteronomy 6:4-5 that every pious person prayed every morning and evening of every day:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”
Jesus added an additional sentence along with an insight: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
The core of Christian life is loving God and neighbor with the same intensity. All life “hangs” on how the community lives Jesus’ command about God and neighbor.
Imagine what a difference it would make if every believer began and ended each day with the prayer, let alone live it:
“Hear, O (believer’s name): The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Twice every day spirituality, prayer and morality are divinely connected. Loving God and neighbor become one reality.
(Father Andrew Kelly is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Mechanicsville.)