Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22.37-39; my emphasis).
Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. As I have loved you, you should love one another…No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you” (John 13.34, 15.13-14; my emphasis).
As a Christian, I acknowledge, indeed, abide by the ancient Law to love God and to love neighbor and the command to love as Jesus loves.
Nevertheless, I need be aware and wary of an (my!) innate and very human response to Jesus’ teaching. For in my faithful rush to commit to keeping “the greatest” (the highest good) and “the new” (that which complements the good that came before), I may suffer an inadvertent blindness and deafness, so that I do not (cannot!) see, hear and heed what I have come to believe to be another important calling.
To wit, I, in following Jesus, can conceive and be capable of making the ultimate sacrifice in laying down my life for my family and friends. Nevertheless, I also can remain unmoved by the call to lay aside the rigor of my perspectives or the rigidity of my prejudices – in a word, to die to myself (aye, my self) – so to acknowledge and accept “the other,” anyone very different in person and in point of view, who stands before me.
© 2021 PRA
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