Interestingly, biblical commentaries haven’t been too helpful this week. There isn’t much to note besides the Jewish origins (no surprise, since Jesus was a devout Jew!) of these two ethical positions. The first is taken from the Shema (Deut. 6:4-5), the verse that is recited by Jews to this day before worship. The second is from the Holiness Code of Leviticus (Lev. 19:18). Jesus may have been the first to tie these two commands together and privilege their importance among the 613 mandates of the Torah.
This gospel is a gem. It is good news, indeed: it reminds us with the clarity that only divine commandments can that living out our call to love is simplyall that God desires of us. Oh God, if only this simple call were easy!
What keeps us from loving God? What holds us back from loving neighbor?