There is a saying that one may hear but not listen (naririnig pero hindi nakikinig), see but not look (nakakakita pero hindi tumitingin), and read but not understand (nagbabasa pero hindi binabasa).
All the many laws in the Jewish tradition were meant to show the love for God, but it does not stop there. Love of God is not God alone; it also includes love of neighbor and oneself.
Hence in St. Luke’s Gospel, Jesus again reprimands the Pharisees. They have read the Gospel and indeed are experts in it, BUT they do not really understand what it is truly about – love for God and love for neighbor go hand in hand.
Thus in our everyday lives, three things we can do to show love for God and neighbor.
- Know who they really are. Just because we see a person everyday and we say hi and hello, it does not make them neighbors, in the biblical sense. Do we take time to actually know them? Or do we know them simply from the stories of other people?
- Pray for them. Although we do not see, never underestimate the power of prayer. Also, never underestimate the power of many people praying. Further, never underestimate the prayer of the Church. Our neighbors may not be aware of this, but God is.
- Hold no Judgment. One reality of any organization is gossip. We often talk about other people, and usually, the talk is not charitable. In other words, gossip. Since we do not know the whole story of the people we talk about, it is best not to add to the gossip.
We pray for the realization that the best way to bring people to God is by the way we treat other people. We may have memorized the whole bible, we may go to Mass every day and pray, but it all boils dows to one thing – how we treat other people.