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The Most Important Commandment

June 27th, 2012by Bill Tonnis

Mark 12:30-31

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

This was the answer Jesus gave to the religious leader who asked Him which was the first of all the commandments. Jesus said that “love” is the answer.

How can one do this? By not judging others but loving them. By not dividing everything we look upon as either “in” or “out” but in accepting all things as being included. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with everything…but that we can disagree without “casting out.” Jesus showed us what happens when we “cast out” by becoming the one cast-out…and nailed to a cross.

Jesus made it quite clear that loving our neighbor includes loving our “enemies” (Matthew 5:44). How quickly we dismiss this! What Jesus wants is for each of us to focus on “loving” better…so that each of us is transformed. For when you love, as Jesus told the religious leader, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:34).

Bill Tonnis

Bill Tonnis is the Director of Youth & Outreach Ministries at Our Lady of the Visitation Parish. He is single and a parishioner at St. Monica St. George Parish in Clifton.