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Love – A Mission Statement: A Way of Life

Love touches on the very heart of the Christian message and indeed of all human living. So it is not surprising that this is the answer Jesus gives to the question asked of him in today’s gospel. There were over 600 Laws which the Jewish people observed at the time of Jesus ministry, so the Pharisees asked Jesus his opinion on “Which is the greatest commandment of the Law?”

They were not trying to trap Jesus unlike other encounters, they just wanted to know his thoughts if there any one law which summed up all the other laws and touched the core of their relationship with God. Jesus gives a direct answer, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul and your mind, but he also goes on to say that “You must love your neighbour as yourself”. These “commands” to love God and those around us are not really commands. Love is not love unless it is free and spontaneous. What Jesus proposes are not just commands or rules but a whole approach to life and to our relationship with others. The key word is “love” but there are really three loves involved: love of God, love of others and love of self. Ultimately, love of God, the source of all being and life, comes first. Then comes, as a natural outcome, love for all those in whom God dwells and whom God creates. Lastly, there is the love of self. I also am worthy of being loved. This call to Love God and Love your neighbour could be seen as the overall “Mission Statement” of the church.

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