Sunday Reflection : 23October 2011


Loving God & our neighbor

Last Sunday’s Gospel reading was about the very fundamental teachings of Jesus taken from Mathew 22:34-40. Jesus gave us the 2 most important commandments; firstly to love God with all our soul and our entire mind and secondly to love our neighbor as ourselves. According to Jesus there is no law greater than these as all other laws and even the prophets depend on them.

In other parts of the Gospel Jesus tells us that we cannot possibly love God if we do not love our neighbor and he clearly describes who our neighbor is. Are these commandments too difficult to understand? To my mind it is so simple but we make it look difficult because we refuse to obey them. We refuse to see our neighbor who is all over wherever we go. This blindness to the neighbor in our midst is due to our selfishness, greed and pride not because of our ignorance or complexity of the commandments.

We tend to pick and choose to obey those commandments that benefit us but ignore those that don’t. It is strange that many of us are willing to go great extent to show our love for God, with elaborate rituals, whom we cannot see, hear or feel but refuse to see him in those around us who we can see, hear and touch. But Jesus tells us, unless we love Him in our neighbor there is no way we can love God.

When we try to live up to this great commandment we are accused of being proud and arrogant and our interpretation of those simple commandments as misleading and deviationist (ajaran sesat) by those who claim to be the experts in the Word.

Let’s ask ourselves to what extent are we willing to follow those 2 commandments of Jesus whom we claim is our Lord and Master? Do we know who really is that God we are to love with all our heart and mind? Do we know who our neighbor really is that we are to love as ourselves? If we have yet to find that God and that neighbor whom we are to love, let’s resolve to do so today.

The gospel reading for last Sunday

Mathew 22:34-40

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees they got together

and, to put him to the test, one of them put a further question,

'Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?'

Jesus said to him, “You must 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 resembles it: “You must love your neighbour as yourself”

On these two commandments hang the whole Law, and the Prophets too.'

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