Last week the religious leaders endeavoured to use the issue of paying taxes to Caesar as means of demonstrating that Jesus was an unfaithful Jew. Their
attempt failed.

In today’s story, knowing there are ten commandments in the law of Moses, the Jewish leaders try to trap Jesus into saying that one particular commandment is more important than the other commandments. To make such a distinction would be heresy.

They have overlooked the fact that all of the commandments are about loving God and loving one’s brother and sister. Hence the religious leaders fail again to prove that Jesus is an unfaithful Jew. They cannot silence him.

But there is a deeper message in today’s story. The author of the Gospel, St Matthew, is wanting his readers to understand that the closest we will ever come to knowing God, is to love and know one’s fellow human being.

One of the wonderful realities to observe in life is the unconditional love of one human being for another. It may be a husband and wife, or a parent and child, or any two people who are deeply in love. Unconditional love is a rare human experience, but it does exist and all of us experience it along life’s road. When we do experience it we are actually as close as we can possible be to understanding God’s unconditional love for each and every one of us.

Today we are invited to reflect on the power of love. When we truly love another person we are in touch with the unconditional mercy, justice and love of God for the whole human race.

Rev Fr Tom Stevens