"Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" (Mt 22: 37-39)
Once again the Pharisees try to trap Jesus with a trick question. They were legalists, desperately trying to achieve salvation by strictly following the 613 laws of the code of Moses and arguing about which law had priority. Jesus sums it all up in his two commands of love for God and neighbor. In the Spiritual Exercises St. Ignatius tells us that love shows itself in deeds, in spending time and attention with the loved one and sharing ourselves and our goods with them. We call that prayer. That's what Jesus always did with our Father and taught us to do.
When it comes to love of others, I prefer the definition of love as always wanting the best for the other person and putting that desire into actions, showing it in deeds. We may not agree on what is the best and the best may not include me but I try to show love by treating the other with care, compassion, generosity and understanding. That's how we all want to be treated. Love often takes sacrifice as every spouse and parent knows, putting the other first, meeting their needs rather than our own. Let us ask the Lord to help us choose the most loving response in all of our relationships.
-Ralph Huse, S.J.