Today, Jesus reveals what faithfulness to God’s law looks like—complete and total love of God, neighbor, and self. Combining love of God (Dt 6:5) with love of one’s neighbor as oneself (Lv 19:18), Jesus provides a balanced, horizontal and vertical understanding of authentically lived faith that is both an interior state and an exterior expression. Remove any one part, and the structure falters.
Love for God whom we cannot see must be manifested in love of neighbor whom we do see. Love of neighbor, then, reflects how much God loves each of us, which in turn increases our love for God and flows into greater love for others. Neither self-serving nor self-deprecating, love is always a response to God who loves us first.All things belong to God. Still, we must discern together how to live God’s will on earth as it is in heaven. Click To Tweet
Furthermore, this love engages heart, soul, and mind. That means it is nurtured by reason and intellect, inspired by instinct and emotion, and focused on life here and now and on the life to come.
We may be drawn more readily to one particular aspect of faith over another—to spirituality, to acts of justice or self-care, to the contemplative life or public service, to discernment directed by thought or led by feeling. Rather than being points of conflict, these differences show us how much we truly need one another if we are to encounter God’s love more fully in our lives.