Catholic Charismatic Church  - There was a time when faith was not found wanting.

Not for All the Gold

The early teachers of Judaism had to make learning and keeping the 613 commandments of the Torah as easy as they could. They all came from God and therefore they were all equally important. The reward or punishment for keeping or breaking a serious precept was  exactly the same as a lesser precept.  To help the faithful follow the Torah, the rabbis attempted to summarize it in short statements. One of the most notable rabbis,  Hillel, said, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole truth of the Torah, while the rest is a commentary on it; go and learn it.”

Like the question regarding the coin and the tax. There is an unanswerable question asked of Jesus.  Which is the greatest commandment? Had Jesus singled out any one commandment, he would have violated the belief that, because God gave them all, all had equal importance Jesus quoted part of the Schema, a creed and prayer that every religious Jew recited  several times during the day: “ You shall love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Then Jesus added, we must love our neighbor as ourselves.

The passage from Exodus  deals with how we should treat people. Immigrants, widows and orphans were, in that day, and often in ours,  the most defenseless in society.  How we treat them reveals our character as a people and as individuals. Exodus tells us that God has a special  love for the alien, widow and orphan, and that He offers them special protection.

We might need to bring the words of Exodus and Jesus’ command into our national debates about immigration and other issues affecting the poor and disadvantaged.  

How are  loving God and loving neighbor connected?


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