Thirtieth Sunday ot 2



When Jesus answers the question of the Pharisees, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” ;he sums up the whole of his mission along with summarizing the most essential parts of the Jewish faith; the love of God and the love of neighbor. In Christianity these two commands are frequently described as the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the cross. The vertical as that relationship between God and man, the horizontal that relationship between mankind. Saint Francis used this image of the cross in the design of the Franciscan orders habit. With arms outstretched in prayer, that praying friar’s habit took the shape of the cross. In looking at that cross of the praying Franciscan, what is it that is located at the intersection of horizontal and vertical? It is of course the heart, the symbol of charity which means love. It is reminder of God’s love for mankind, and a reminder of the love mankind should extend towards each other. Jesus in his answer condensed centuries of Torah interpretation, he simplified the commandments of Jewish law for the reason of simplicity. He did this so that the basic identity of faith would not be lost in volumes of details. His statement is easy to understand, and easier to commit to memory. It is easy to see these two laws in nearly every scriptural passage. What more then can one say?

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