August 19, 2022 – Friday of the 20th Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/081922.cfm)
Surely, we are all familiar that the greatest commandment is to Love. But perhaps we may consider why is love the greatest commandment. Why do we have to love, then?
However we experience it in life, ultimately we realize that Love is our great response to the great Gospel that God is with us. Love is our most appropriate & productive response to the revelation of Emmanuel (God-with-us). Not only out of obligation & as commanded, loving God wholeheartedly is our response to the Good News that God is with us. We love because God is with us, and we are with God. Because God is with us, we come to love God by loving one another and ourselves. And we come to love one ourselves and one another by loving God wholeheartedly.
Here we can highlight to two things.
First, love is something we learn in life. For us to live in life, we must learn not only to breath the air, to eat food, to sleep and move to grow, but also we must learn to love to communicate with others. Love then is (like any other), the basic language we must learn in life in order to grow in our relationship with others. For us to grow, we must learn the personal, cultural, universal & spiritual language of love. Beyond science, math, survival & others, the greatest capacity we must learn to grow in life is the language of love.
Second, to love & be loved is the greatest experience we may have in life. Love is not only a noun, but above all, both an active & passive verb. It is active experience -something we do & being done to us. Same way with a child, for us to be loved by others is life-giving & nurturing; and for us to love others in return is self & other-enriching.
In love, being with God, others & oneself is Great. But without love, being with God, others & oneself is limited.
So, since God is with us, not only as commanded but in response, we love Him wholeheartedly as we love ourselves & others; and we come to love ourselves & others by loving Him wholeheartedly. And how we love and be loved in return is all that matters in God & in life.