Sunday, January 29 (16), 2023 : 33d Sunday after Pentecost
1Tim. IV:9-15, Lk., XIX, 1-10
The very root, the source of all Lord’s commandments is love. Quite a short word, but a tremendous deed is expressed by it. To say “love” is easy, though how hard it is to achieve the right measure of love. It is not so clear either how to move in that direction; therefore, the Savior adds explanations to this commandment: “Love thy neighbor as thyself” [Mk.12:31], “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” [Lk.6:31].
The measure of love presented here is, so to speak, infinite ─ for there is no measure of love to oneself and no limit to good which one would wish to receive from others. However, this instruction is not at all impossible to follow. The problem here is to develop perfect compassion to others, to completely transfer their feelings to yourself and feel just like the other person does. When this is achieved, there is no more need to ask what to do for the others: your own heart will dictate you.
Only be careful to sustain your compassion, otherwise selfishness will counter-attack, seize you and re-gain control over your soul. Then you wouldn’t care less about others, wouldn’t even look at them, no matter how badly they suffer. By saying “Love thy neighbor as thyself” the Lord demands that you place your neighbor in the middle of your heart, instead of yourself. But if your own ego is still residing there, your prospects of success are null.