One of them, a legal expert, tested him. “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?” He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
Food For Thought:
Many have said that the entire gospel is almost summarized in this passage. Quoting part of the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:5, Jesus is asking here for whole-hearted commitment from those who follow him. To love God with all our hearts, beings, and minds would represent our whole selves. We are being asked to give our complete devotion. And from that all-encompassing love of God will naturally come a complete love of neighbor. Love God and love your neighbor. Love them both! It seems so simple, yet it can be so difficult. Love God! Worship God! Praise God! Love your neighbors! Serve them! Show mercy! Be patient! Love of God and love of neighbor go hand in hand.
God, I give you my heart today, that I will love you more fully than I did yesterday. God I give you my being today, that my words and actions will honor you entirely. God, I give you my mind today, that my thoughts will be set apart for you. It is difficult to give all of myself away to you and to the service of others. Make me strong where I feel weak. Amen.