Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus sums up the laws of love.
It was a common practice in Jesus’ time to ask a rabbi to identify the central precept of the Law. Thus Jesus is asked, “Which is the first of all the commandments?”
He gave his famous answer: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
All of religion is finally about awakening the deepest desire of the heart and directing it toward God; it is about the ordering of love toward that which is most worthy of love. But this love of God carries, Jesus says, as a necessary implication, compassion for one’s fellow human beings.
Why are the two commandments so tightly linked? Because of who Jesus is. Christ is not simply a human being, and he is not simply God; rather, he is the God-man, the one in whose person divinity and humanity meet. Therefore, it is impossible to love him as God without loving the humanity that he has embraced. The greatest commandment is, therefore, an indirect Christology.