Many people believe that Jesus created the commandment “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Today we are reminded that this love command predates Jesus and Christianity by ten centuries! It comes from the Old Testament Book of Leviticus (19:18), the third book of the Bible. The original setting referred to fellow citizens.
Jesus expands the term neighbor to include our enemies. It is easier to love neighbors who are family or friends. It is more challenging to love someone who is unpleasant or who has harmed us. We are to love not because it is nice to be nice. We are to embody this love because this is how God is and we are to be holy, perfect, like God.
On this Sister Parish Sunday we think of the people of St. Rose of Lima parish in Gris Gris, Haiti, as our neighbors. We love them with our prayerful and financial support.
As you hear the ancient love commandment anew, who is God calling you to love?