Matthew 22: 34-40
Lord, I believe in you, because you have a plan for me that will bring me to be like you. I hope in
you, because your example and your grace give me the strength to be able to identify my will with
yours. I love you, because only by loving you can I be transformed into you and be
Give me, Lord, the grace to practice charity
1. Wanting What God
What is true love? Quoting the Roman historian, Sallust, Pope-Emeritus Benedict
shows us what the authentic content of love is: 'To want the same thing, and to reject the same
thing was recognized by antiquity as the authentic content of love: the one becomes similar to the
other, and this leads to community of will and thought' (Deus Caritas Est, 17). This quote helps us
understand that to love is to identify our will with God's will. This leads us to be like God. This
fact corrects the error of our first parents who disobeyed God.
2. Love Has Two
True love has two dimensions: love for God and love for our neighbor. The
first epistle of John, known as the 'Magna Carta' of charity, expresses frequently and clearly the
close relationship between them. One cannot exist without the other: 'No one who fails to act in
righteousness belongs to God, nor anyone who does not love his brother' (1 John 3:10); 'Beloved, let
us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God' (1
John 4:7); 'Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another' (1 John 4:11); 'If anyone
says, 'I love God,' but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he
has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from him: whoever
loves God must also love his brother' (1 John 4:20-21).
3. Loving Others:
requires loving others. This is not easy, especially in a world that highly esteems individualism
and permits stepping on others to get ahead. If loving others according to the Old Testament
requirement, 'as you love yourself' is difficult, we can imagine how difficult it is to love others
according to Christ's requirement, 'as I have loved you' (cf. John 13:34), which is a true
Christian's hallmark: 'This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one
another' (John 13:35). How many times do we judge only from appearances, or judge people only by
their physical traits or defects? It's so easy to comment on peoplesí defects, imperfections, and
ways of acting; yet, it is so difficult to praise constantly what is positive in them. One of the
best ways to love our neighbor is to seek charity in speech.
Conversation with Christ:
Dear Jesus, give me the grace to love others with all my effort and good
will. I want to contemplate you, Lord, so that I may learn from you how to love them to the point of
giving my life for them.
I will practice charity towards
others in a very concrete way.