In the gospels, Jesus is asked which of the 10 commandments is the most important. Jesus answers him by summarizing them saying, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
Our greatest purpose in life is not to get married, buy a house, or invest in our RRSP, it’s to love. At the end of our lives it will not be our worldly successes that matter, it will be how we used the gifts we were given to love others.
God’s plan includes bringing His kingdom and rule to His people here on earth. While here, we are called to show others what that kingdom and His love look like. In Matthew, the story of the greatest commandment is followed by the parable of the good Samaritan. A man is robbed and lays beaten by the side of the road. Two people who would be called ‘good’ through their standing in society see his need and yet cross to the other side and avoid him. We don’t know why they crossed – they may have been in a rush or they may have been afraid for their own safety, but they make the wrong decision. Then the Samaritan comes along. Samaritans were historically despised by the Jewish people, yet he chooses to stop. He didn’t see the man for his race or religion, but just as someone in need of help. He then goes above and beyond – he dresses the mans wounds and takes him to an inn to heal, paying with his own money. He even tells the innkeeper to take exceptional care of the injured man, promising to pay extra when he returns.
This is our purpose while we’re alive, and an invitation into a world of love and kindness. Jesus was surrounded by people who sought status, power, and glory for themselves. Some of the people who followed him hoped that he would seek the same. But instead he simply came to live with and among the people he loved, showing them the grace and love of the Father. Following Jesus, we’re called to do the same. Are you bringing peace, hope and love to the people in your life?
“...That is how I will spend my short life. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.” ~ St. Therese of Lisieux