Which is the first of all the commandments?

“Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 28b:30)

In today’s Gospel, Jesus gives us our roadmap to salvation. His teaching is not new (see Deut 6:4-5 and Lev 18:18) but as son of God, he once and for all confirms the most important commandments. There should be no doubt in our minds of what we must do for Christ to live in us.

There are three virtues that are related directly from God: Faith, Hope, and Love. These gifts, which we acquire beginning with baptism, are the foundation of our Christian moral life. As Paul so beautifully expresses in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, “the greatest of these is love.” That is today’s Gospel message: Love God; Love your neighbor.

Let’s pray this day that we continue to grow in love for God and each other:

“O Lord God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because you are all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you. I forgive all who have injured me and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. Amen (Act of Love)

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