One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is; “The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Matthew 12:28-31
In today’s Gospel Jesus sums up the laws of love. It was a common practice in Jesus’ time to ask a rabbi to identify the central precept of the Law. Thus Jesus is asked, "Which is the first of all the commandments?" He gave his famous answer: "‘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." All of religion is about awakening the deepest desire of the heart and directing it toward God; it is about the ordering of love toward that which is most worthy of love. But this love of God carries, Jesus says, as a necessary implication, compassion for one’s fellow human beings. Why are the two commandments so tightly linked? Because of who Jesus is. Christ is not simply a human being, and he is not simply God; rather, he is the God-man, the one in whose person divinity and humanity meet. Therefore, it is impossible to love him as God without loving the humanity that he has embraced. The greatest commandment is, therefore, an indirect Christology.
Reflect: How does the truth that humanity and divinity meet in Jesus affect your understanding of humanity? Of divinity?