Jesus does not pluck his summary teaching from the air—he quotes from the Shema Yisrael, the great daily prayer of Judaism found in Deuteronomy 6. The second part about the love of neighbour is taken from Leviticus 18. This mission statement stands as a resounding appeal to us today. We are asked not just to believe that there is a God, but to love God. We are asked not just to respect our neighbour, but to love our neighbour. Love is not only the truth about human beings but also the truth about God, who is love itself.
Great and loving God, your love for us is beyond what we can grasp with our minds and hearts. Let such great love for all awaken in us a true love of you and lead to authentic service of our neighbour.
K O’Mahony OSA