God gave us the beautiful commandment to love Him and our neighbours. Commandment is not something optional, it is an obligation. It is like rules for a game without which a game is not possible. God, the author of creation, gives commandments to his creation to ensure peace and harmony. Jesus beautifully summarizes all the commandments into two without which our existence on this earth will lose meaning.
The Pharisees and Sadducees, wanted to trap Jesus by asking him to cull out the greatest commandment from 600 rules and regulations. Jesus silences them by picking out the significant two commandments. He quotes Deut 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. Jesus may be an itinerant preacher but was surely not an ignorant preacher.
What is the problem of world today? It is not so much the Globalization, terrorism, violence, Caste system etc. These are only the symptoms of a serious problem or a killer disease. The virus that causes this disease is the culture of ‘Lack of Love’ If we love someone sincerely we will not exploit them, we tend to be gentle and caring with them, we will not discriminate our beloved. We live in a world which is promoting anti-love culture. Slowly we are becoming narcissistic in our approach. This is only reflected in our day today life.
God created us not because he had nothing to do. He created us because He loves us. Every love creates love. His love created us but we as usual betrayed his love and fallen away. It surely hurt God but he still keeps loving us. He went on to make the greatest covenant in the human history in Mount Sinai. We broke the covenant and kept hurting him. When we had gone too far from his love, God understood the danger and he wanted to save us and so he sent the prophets. What did we do? We killed the prophets and insulted God. God did not stop with that, He did not get frustrated with our attitude. As we read in Jn 3: 14, He so loved the world that he sent his only son to save us. His incarnation was the decisive manifestation of God’s love. Did we respond to him? No! We kept rejecting his love. We went to the height of insensitivity by crucifying our savior on the other hand God went on to show his love on the cross. There is no doubt he saved us! But what is our response? We as cruel sons and daughters keep rejecting God’s love. One can even ask what is the need for this God of love, to love us. It is not his need to love us, He loves us simply because He loves us. Such is our God of love. Very few of us respond to his love. Every time we commit sin, we reject His love. Every time we fail to see God in the poor, orphans, widows and the marginalized we fail to accept this God of love. We have lost that childlike innocence.
Karl Rahner speaks about Radical the unity of love of God and love of neighbour. It is true that we cannot equate these two. If we say that love of neighbour is equal to love of God we are actually committing the greatest sin of idolatry. At the same time we need to realize that love of God without love of neighbour would be an incomplete love. It is incomplete because the love of God is expressed through love of neighbour. There are persons who would love to spend a good deal of time in prayer but cannot spend a little time with the needy. This would be an incomplete love of God. On the other hand there are some who think that only by loving neighbours we can reach God which is equal to idolatry. Our love for our neighbour should eventually lead us to God in faith.
Today’s world needs love both of God and neighbour. Love of God is always there but many are blind to this supreme love. We need to make them realize that God loves them with all their sinfulness. This love of God should be concretely manifested in our love for the world at large. On the judgment day when Christ asks us whether we gave food to him, whether we clothed him, whether we visited when he was sick, whether we welcomed him, we should not be asking a foolish question, Lord when were you in need and when did I neglect you? It is not for the sake of judgment we should love him rather it is our Christian call to love the neighbours. Christ again defines a neighbour through the famous parable Good Samaritan. We should be proud to call ourselves as Christians because it is the only religion where God has lived a life of a human being and showed us the path to live a fruitful life. We are supposed to be enlightened people, we cannot give excuses saying that we were ignorant about God’s expectation from us. Let us be the carriers of love which is possible only when we are nested in Christ’s love which is nested in Father’s love through the Holy Spirit.