being a good neighbor
"The second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments the whole law is based, and the prophets as well." —Matthew 22:39-40
The second commandment and part of the basis for the whole Christian life is: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Mt 22:39). Only by inviting neighbors to give their lives to Christ can we truly love them. A total commitment to Jesus is the greatest need of a human person, for without Jesus we can do nothing (Jn 15:5). Therefore, if we fail to share Jesus with our neighbor, we are refusing to give them the greatest necessity of life. This is surely not love, no matter how many other nice things we do.
After we share the Lord with our neighbors, we are called to serve them in many ways. This is the follow-up of our evangelism. We are practicing what we preach. Nonetheless, no amount of service can ever substitute for loving people enough to tell them the truth about Jesus. Even if our neighbors reject the gospel message and us, we must love them enough to accept their rejection. Although evangelization is not all there is to loving our neighbor, it is the essence of obeying the second commandment. For Christians there can be no love without evangelism.
Prayer: Father, give me a deep concern for the salvation of those I see every day.
Promise: "You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment." —Mt 22:37-38
Praise: Pope St. Pius X lived out the call of service to neighbor by breathing renewal in the cause of Catholic Action. He also promoted more frequent Communion and more Bible study.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Love on audio AV 58-1 or video V-58.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009
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