October 26, 2014: 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law tested him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall 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 is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:34-40)
“Which commandment of the law is greatest?” An excellent question!
The Jews had many laws and it is understandable that they wanted to arrange them in order of importance. But an answer was not the Pharisees’ chief concern. They wanted to challenge Jesus’ response. Perhaps they hoped he would give a long and complicated reply which might start an argument. But Jesus answered very briefly with the law of love of God and neighbor.
Being a disciple of Jesus requires obedience to God and his commands. Can you give
examples of such requirements? Why do you think Jesus’ answer is a good summary of all our laws and responsibilities? Is any law left out? Would Jesus’ reply about love of God and neighbor be a good guide for your life?