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The Inseparable Twin

August 20, 2020
Steward of God’s Creation
August 21, 2020
PITIK-BULAG: The Inseparable Twin
Have you ever asked yourself what is your main motto or principle in life? What is your main value that drives your life or the main foundation of your decision or action in life? When it is clear to us what we want in our life, we have a clear direction to take and where do we spend all our energies for the rest of our life.
This is actually true in our gospel reading today. The religious leaders and ordinary Jews were confused with regard to their laws. There are 613 laws in the Old Testament. All of them were given by God, thus, all of them are equally important. To remember them all was already difficult, how much more on fulfilling them all? It became a heavy burden to fulfill to the majority. Thus, some prophets attempted to summarize the laws or prioritize them. David listed eleven (Ps 15:2-5), Isaiah six (Isa 33:15), Micah three (Mic 6:8), Amos two (Am 5:4), and Habakkuk only one (Hab 2:4).
Yet, when the lawyer came to Jesus and asked which of these laws was the greatest, it was not an honest query but a trap to put Jesus into the hot water. But without hesitation, Jesus said,
“This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-38).”
Jesus quoted the Mosaic law, “You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3).” But added the love dimension on it. The revision was more positive, life-giving, and game-changing. Unlike the laws mentioned in the Book of Leviticus which was more negative in its nature: “You will not steal, will not lie, will not defraud neighbors, will not judge, will not hate, etc … (Leviticus 19: 9-18).”
To have a positive law “You shall love the Lord your God … and you shall love your neighbor” is more positive and life-giving. It allows us to be more sensitive, caring, and compassionate to others. It moves our attention to others and less on ourselves. The negative law intends to protect oneself from possible punishment for transgressing our neighbors.
When the Lord gave the second law, it was not really the second law in itself. It was the only way to fulfill the first law. To love God is to love others. To harm others is to harm God. The only way to love God whom we cannot see is to love others whom we can see. Saint Paul explicitly said it (1 John 4:20). In the end, there is only one law that counts most … TO LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR HEART, MIND AND SOUL. Yet, both two commandments are inseparable. One needs the other.
How do you manifest your love to God? Do you have the ability to see to God in others, especially the poor, marginalized and oppressed? Can you love God without loving others? Remember these two laws, and you don’t need to remember the rest of God’s commandments.
– Pitik-Bulag.
August 21, 2020 – Death of Ninoy Aquino
Gospel Reading: Matthew 22:34-46

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