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 Love the Lord your God with all your Heart

In today’s Gospel, Jesus explains that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord God with your whole heart and the second greatest is to love your neighbour as yourself.

Sometimes our relationship with God is put under strain: we could feel let down when we pray for something that is important to us and our prayer doesn't get answered in the way we had hoped. We may find this difficult to comprehend and at such times, our love for God may be tested. Our struggle to understand this is not surprising: even Jesus, at the end of his life, prayed to be spared his painful death and his prayer was not answered in the way he might have wished. Later, on reflection, we may come to an understanding that these things are God's will. So, difficult though it might be at the time, we need to accept that God knows best and to leave it in his capable hands to use our prayer as he chooses. We are called to love God and to trust him and, like Jesus, to say, 'not my will but yours be done'.

The second commandment calls us to love our neighbour. At times, we are all upset by the hurtful behaviour or remarks of others and it is natural that we may react by wondering, why should I love this person when they behave this way towards me? We may want to retaliate, or perhaps just avoid contact with such people. However, difficult though it is, God calls us to do what we can to heal the grudges we might have against others. God knows what is in our hearts and sees when we make the effort to love others even though we have been hurt. A good guide to apply to our lives with others is to follow Jesus' example: ‘love one another as I have loved you’ – that is, unconditionally.

L Jacobs








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