When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Jesus is tested today by the Pharisees and, after going back and forth, Jesus reminds them of the two great commandments of the law: total love of God and love for my neighbor…as I love myself. Selfless, unconditional love through the ups-and-downs of life—even through rejection and betrayal—this is a tough sell in today’s conflicted and complicated world. Yet that is what Jesus teaches. To be sure none of us lives up to that invitation 100% each and every day…yet that is still what Jesus asks and invites.
Today’s first reading from the Book of Ruth gives us an example: the elderly Naomi is left alone with the Moabite woman Ruth. When Naomi gives Ruth permission to return to her own people, Ruth offers Naomi both loyalty and love in these beautiful words…often used today as a wedding song: “Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”
Where is our life-giving God inviting me to “go” today?
—The Jesuit prayer team
You lead, I’ll follow, Your hands hold my tomorrow,
Your grip, Your grace, You know the way,
You guide me tenderly,
When you lead, I’ll follow,
Just light the way and I’ll go,
Cause I know what you got for me is more than I can see.
So lead me on, on, on, on and on,
Just lead me on, on, on and on.
—”You Lead” lyrics, © Jamie Grace