Love of God and Love of Neighbor

Mark 12: 28-31

Once I had the opportunity to join a procession. We went around town praying the rosary and singing religious songs. It was solemn and beautiful. Upon reaching the Church, to signify the end of the procession, the priest blessed the Carozas. Suddenly, there was a commotion – people started receiving the flowers. Since there was no order and discipline in the picking of flowers, there were many who were injured. There were arguments here and there. 

For a first-timer, I asked the question, “What happened?” The response was that because the flowers were blessed by the priest, they were supposed to be lucky.

After that, questions ran into my mind. Isn’t it with God there is no good luck or bad luck? Since when did flowers become more important than people? Whatever happened to the Love of God and love of neighbor?

In St. Mark’s Gospel, Jesus was asked which is the most important of all commandments? We must remember that in the Jewish faith, there are a lot of commandments to the point that they can become too burdensome. Hence, when Jesus was asked which was most important, His response was – “Love of God and love of neighbor.”

In our everyday life, how do we show love for neighbor?

  1. Do Not Gossip. There is a joke that the 2 best things for a Filipino – free meal and Gossip. How many of us have been victims of other people’s gossiping? How many of us have gossiped about other people? None of us live perfect lives, either we fraternally correct the person concerned, we just keep quiet if we have nothing nice to say, or check ourselves if we are just envious.
  2. Be Generous. Perhaps helping the needy is something we will automatically think of. But what about the people we work with? How often have we held back in generosity because we feel others might benefit? We are part of a group yet we hold back on our talents or knowledge simply because we don’t want others to benefit.
  3. Be Thoughtful. At the end of our lives, this is what we will be remembered for, the kindness we have shown other people. Often it just takes being thoughtful. All our lives are intertwined, if we are a blessing, we bless others. If we are a menace, we affect others as well.  

Hence in this Mass, we remember three teachings of our faith:

  • First, we are all created in the image and likeness of God
  • Second, whatever you do to the least of your brethren, we do unto Christ
  • Third, we reap what we sow in life. May we be more appreciative of the people around us.

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