Jesus comes from “Close your mouth to the Sadducees”, now come the Pharisees: they too want to test Jesus with a slightly different question: ” What is the great commandment? “ The subject of the number of commandments and their hierarchy is commonly disputed by the various parties that made up the Jewish people in Jesus’ time. Some have 613 commandments. This is why many seek what is essential, and many passages of the First Testament bear the mark of these questions.
The first reading of this Sunday from the book of Exodus echoes the command, expressed in negative form, to “Not to overwhelm the poor, the immigrant, the widow, the orphan”. The prophet Micah brings together, in their positive form, the commandments in three expressions: ” Respect the law, love fidelity, apply yourself to walk with your God ” (Micah, 6, 8 – liturgical translation). And Psalm 14 (15) thus describes the one who “Will inhabit the mountain of the Lord ” : he “Practice justice, tell the truth, does not harm his brother, loan without interest, do not harm the innocent “. We could cite many other books in the Bible. Reading the scriptures allows us to discover how the Jewish people interpreted and synthesized the multiplicity of commandments: the true love of God is inseparable from the love of neighbor.
” Everything is connected “, repeats Pope Francis in the encyclical Laudato si ‘. The love of God, the love of the brother, the love of self, the love of creation are inseparable, for love is one. And, if we are Christians, we believe that the love that God has for humans is the foundation and the source of all love. Through this love of our Creator and Father, we are all brothers. If we listen to this constitutive reality of our being as men or women, this fraternity which binds us to every human being, we hear the heart of the Father beating. What unfathomable wealth!
Jesus articulates two verses of the Torah: Deuteronomy 6, 5 – “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength” – and Leviticus 19:18 – “You will love your neighbor as yourself.” I am the Lord ”. If he can do it this way, it is because he himself is this junction, mediator between God and man, man and God. Already the First Testament linked love of God and love of neighbor. In Jesus, God took one more step towards man, decisive, because Jesus gathered in his person the love of God and the love of the brother so that he can say a little further in the Gospel : “What you did to one of these little ones who are my brothers, you did to me” (Mt 25:40).
This is how we can offer a glass of water to an enemy, welcome a stranger, smile at someone who is not pleasant to us … In doing so, we may not think about it, but it is from God himself. that we take care of. It’s so simple… and sometimes crucifying. Everything is connected, as are the two woods of the Cross, that of the earth and that which goes to heaven. Jesus carried this Cross loving “ until the end “.
“I love you, Lord, my strength, Lord, my rock, my fortress, God my deliverer, the rock that shelters me” (Psalm 17).
Father, come put my heart off,
come free me from what prevents me from loving myself as you love me,
come and free myself from all the obstacles that I put to the love of my brother and my sister, the closest as the most distant.
I trust and I know you will,
because you love me and you want me to be like you in Jesus, your Son and my Brother. “