And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22: 39 – 40
To love our neighbour as ourselves is the second great commandment. There is a self-love which is corrupt and the root of the some of the greatest sins. Many dictators of the last century had such belief in themselves that they were incapable of feeing any love for their neighbours unless to their own advantage. The complete antithesis of these were people living under their rule who were prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of their neighbours, practising a self-love which they sincerely believed was their greatest duty.
Believers in this second commandment, to love our neighbours as truly and sincerely as we love ourselves, means that we must deny ourselves for the good of others.
So, the first commandments taken together say that we must love God and we must love our neighbour, ” For he who loves his neighbour fulfils all the commandments, and he who fulfils all the commandments, loves God.” (Levit 19:18).
Prayer: Help us to be reminded of the first commandments that you set for the people of Israel, that they become the centre of our lives and make us worthy of your love.
Action: Love your neighbour as you love yourself.