He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Lk 10:27)
The answer the lawyer gives to Jesus may seem simple, drawn from the well-known commandments of God. However, to love God in this way and our neighbors as ourselves can often be difficult.
God’s commandment to love him requires deep commitment and means abandoning ourselves entirely, offering our hearts and minds to serve God’s will. We can ask for the grace to follow Christ’s example, he who offered himself up completely and said, “Not my will but yours be done.” (Lk 22:42). He also manifested his great love to all, including his enemies. We do not get to choose our neighbors. Loving them means being attentive to their needs, accepting their imperfections and encouraging their hopes and aspirations. The same attitude is needed on the path of Christian unity, with regard to one another’s different traditions.
Lord, give us the grace to know you more deeply, in order to love you with all of our being. Grant us a pure heart, to love our neighbors as ourselves. May the gift of your Holy Spirit enable us to see your presence in our sisters and brothers, that we may love each other with the same unconditional love with which you love us. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.