Love God, Love Neighbour, Love Self


Love God, Love Neighbour, Love Self

As we listen to the commandments given by God to the people of Israel in the desert, we are reminded that God often (even mostly) works through human beings. Israel came to know God’s presence, love and commandments through Moses. As the people of Israel came to know of God’s presence and action in their midst through the words and actions of Moses, so God continues to be revealed through the words and actions of those who live in relationship with God.

Moses experienced a mystery that called him to a seemingly impossible vocation. That vocation came to fruition through the work of the Holy Spirit and the willingness of Moses to open himself and his life to God’s call. Moses himself recognized that, of himself, he was incapable of obtaining freedom for Israel. After all, who in their right mind would confront the Pharoah of Egypt and demand that he set this people free, this people that provided an enslaved workforce for the Egyptian economy. Moses trusted God’s assurance that he would have God’s help in this vocation and through Moses’ efforts, Israel was freed from bondage and began the journey to the Promised Land. Of course, we know that the story of Exodus was convoluted and certainly not without great difficulties and disobedience to God’s word.

Jesus, through his life and death, his words and actions revealed the depth of God’s love for us and showed us God’s constant presence in our midst. His final commission to the disciples at the Ascension was to go out and proclaim the Good News to all the world. That commission is also given to each of us. Like Moses, like the prophets, like Jesus and like all those who have gone before us in faith, we are called to be Christ’s presence in our world, to reveal God’s love for all humanity through our lives. Our words and actions are to be a reflection of God’s care for all humanity. The commandments and God’s Word give us a roadmap to help us live out this commission, this vocation. Jesus reminds us powerfully in the Gospel that our actions and our words must express the faith that we profess. It is through our relationships with others that we express our relationship with God as well as our relationship with our very selves. We are reminded often in the letters of the New Testament that our words and actions must mirror the faith we profess. If that is the reality, then we are truly living our vocation, just as Moses and countless other have done over the ages. Our vocation as disciples can be summed up in the two great commandments: to love God and to love our neighbour as ourself. Jesus reminds us that there is no greater commandment that these two.

By Richard Beaudette, OMI