Love of God and Neighbor

Love is a word and term that is difficult to understand. We can love our family, love our country and love an ice cream cone as well. There are obviously different degrees of love and devotion!

Jesus encourages his followers to love God, to love ourselves and to love our neighbor. Perhaps, the central idea of that invitation, is the idea of healthy “self-love”.

Sometimes, we can interpret this as being a bit arrogant. I love myself because God created me and Jesus, my savior, encourages me to love myself! Yes, it is true that we are all made in the image and likeness of God and that we should recognize that fact, but it doesn’t mean that we are perfect in any way. Jesus loved his disciples and us, just as we are, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t always improve.

Our love for ice cream might just be a passing emotion. Our love for God and for the important things in life must always take priority! We use this word “love” in such a careless way sometimes.

Love of God and neighbor is a hallmark of the Christian way of living. But, if we don’t first love ourselves in a healthy manner, it’s difficult to love God and others. Do we take care of our health? Do we provide ourselves time to learn and to grow? Do we measure our lives in our commitment to others and not in the money we make or the esteem we achieve?

Let’s pray that the real meaning of love can be a reality for all of us and that we will grow in grace and serve both God and our


And let us continue to pray for one another.

Fr. Robert J. Schneider


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