Love of God and Neighbor

July 26, 2014

I recently heard a Buddhist proverb. It goes like this, "When we decry the suffering and pain around us, caused by other humans, Buddhist spirituality also reminds us of the suffering and pain borne by our actions, thoughts and speech. While I can't liberate the entire world from suffering even if I wanted to, I can do my part by trying to be mindful of the suffering I am causing or might cause. If all do likewise, then Buddhist spirituality says, we address the suffering in the world borne by human greed, hate and injustice." Reflecting on this proverb I was thinking of how we, as Christians, can live out this in our daily lives. 

It very much reminds me of the teachings of Christ and how we are to love God and to love our neighbor. In Matthew 22:36-40 (New International Version NIV) we read, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

We, as Christians, are called to show love and respect to all around us. We are to be sensitive to how we treat others and how our actions may adversely effect those in our lives. There are those in our lives that we naturally are attracted to and find easy to love and to treat well. Then there are those in our lives that we find it uncomfortable to be with. We may even have people in our lives that we hate for some harm done to us or arguments we may have had. We hold on to those resentments that we have towards those people and grow to hate them.

We are called to love and forgive all those people in our lives, as God loves and forgives us. By letting go of hatred and resentment towards those in our lives, we are making the world a better place. It takes one person at a time to make the world better for those around us. We may not be able to resolve the hatred that is happening in the far reaches of the world, for example, between Israel and Palestine. But we can remove the hatred we have for those in our lives that we hold a grudge.

Further, we can offer our prayers to God for peace and mutual respect among all those in the world that hate each other. They may feel that their hatred is justified. But in order to have peace in the world, we must encourage mutual love, understanding, and forgiveness. It is only then that peace can start coming into the world.

And it starts with each one of us and with those that God has placed in our live.

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Deacon Tom Tortorella is a guest blogger on FatherRosado.com.  He is a permanent Deacon for the Archdiocese of New York and is currently assigned  to St. Clare of Assisi Church in the Bronx, NY.  He was ordained by His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan on June 19th, 2010.

Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition© 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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