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being a good neighbor
“The second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments the whole law is based, and the prophets as well.” —Matthew 22:39-40
The second commandment and part of the basis for the whole Christian life is: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt 22:39). Only by inviting neighbors to give their lives to Christ can we truly love them. A total commitment to Jesus is the greatest need of a human person, for without Jesus we can do nothing (Jn 15:5). Therefore, if we fail to share Jesus with our neighbor, we are refusing to give them the greatest necessity of life. This is surely not love, no matter how many other nice things we do for them.
After we share the Lord with our neighbors, we are called to serve them in many ways. This is the follow-up of our evangelizing. We are practicing what we preach. Nonetheless, no amount of service can ever substitute for loving people enough to tell them the truth about Jesus. Even if our neighbors reject the Gospel message and us, we must love them enough to accept their rejection. Although evangelization is not all there is to loving our neighbor, it is the essence of obeying the second commandment. For Christians there can be no love without evangelization.
Prayer: Father, give me a deep concern for the salvation of those I see every day.
Promise: “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment.” —Mt 22:37-38
Praise: St. Bernard’s parents taught him piety by their holy example. Their holy lives likewise ministered to his brothers, sister, and friends, who also followed Bernard and became Cistercians.
Reference: (For a related teaching on Love, order, listen to, or download our CD 58-1 or DVD 58 on our website.)
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