What is the Greatest Commandment?
Malvern Minute


August 25, 2017 – Friday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Louis IX of France

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (22:34-40)

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.

This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”


Reflect: Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?  The Pharisees were trying, again, to test Jesus. He answer shocks them with the depth of his simplicity: “The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”  The challenge is to live it: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” And, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  We can’t find a better bit of advice about how to direct our lives. Jesus intends that these two commandments should penetrate every fiber of our being. Do we need a simple focused guide to life? There it is. Do we need a way to examine our conscience at the end of each day? There it is.  The solution isn’t about us, it’s about living a life that loves God and serves our neighbor with all that we’ve got.  Let’s pray for the grace to be faithful to the Lord and to live as true disciples.

Questions: Is my life focused on loving God and the other with all that I’ve got? In what ways might God be challenging me to realign my priorities? How can I best use my time, energy and resources to put these two commandments into action?

Pray: Loving God, you are the one I seek. Give me a loving heart that is directed and dedicated to you and anyone that you put into my path today.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Saint Louis: Pray for us!

Saint Louis IX was a model ruler and father. He reigned as king of France from 1226 to 1270. He labored to create a just Christian order throughout his kingdom and all of Europe. He was a Franciscan tertiary who cared especially for lepers and the poor. He directed and was involved in the last two crusades. Louis constructed Sainte Chapelle in Paris as a reliquary for the Jesus’ crown of thorns. He and his wife had eleven children. In his final testament, he urged his son Philip to “fix you whole heart upon God.” He counseled Philip to avoid sin, make frequent confession, and rule his people with justice and moderation, always being a “tender, pitiful heart for the poor.” Louis died of the plague while in Tunisia on his second crusade. He is considered the patron of masons and sculptors. Louis died in 1270.



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