The Cross and Loving God
In today’s Gospel Jesus summarizes the many Jewish laws of his day into the two most important; two that actually contain all the others. Jesus says: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
In the first letter to John we read: “Let us love one another, because love is of God: everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love” (4:7-8).
Because God is love we best reflect God when we love. Our love must reach upward, toward God and outward, toward others. This concept and the teaching of Jesus to love God and others is visualized in the cross. The cross is our way of love. One beam reaches up (vertical) towards God and the other reaches out (horizontal) towards others. The cross is also a sign of sacrifice, and love often requires sacrifice. It is through the cross and through love that we are saved. So may we always cherish the sign of the cross and live it in our love for God and others. Peace.