Priorities, Priorities, Priorities

Priorities indicate how things are of relative importance to us. The things that are important to us generally have impact on our well being and that of others. This Sunday’s Gospel is about priorities.

The scholar of the law tests Jesus by asking him to prioritize -to identify the greatest law. Had Jesus answered by naming most important one of the 631 numerous precepts so dear to the Pharisees he would have failed the test. Jesus states a clear priority with his answer-there is only one commandment above all others to love God with our whole being. This is the most important thing in our lives and everything else we do is measured against our love for God. And secondly, by loving our neighbor we are l0oving God.

Here lies the surprise of the Gospel, love of God and love of neighbor cannot really be separated for in loving our neighbor we are loving God!

Most of us don’t have great difficulty loving those we know and care about, but what about the neighbor we do not know? We can volunteer at soup kitchens, assist in building homes for the homeless, participate in acts of justice that lead to systemic change. In all of these and countless other ways not only do we love our neighbor, but in these acts we show our love for God. This is our most important priority – to love God in the neighbor we meet every day.