2148 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

Love for God and neighbor

Fif­teenth Sun­day After Pen­te­cost. [II Cor. 4:6–15; Matt. 22:35–46]

The Lord offered the com­mand­ment about love for God and one’s neigh­bor, and imme­di­ate­ly sup­ple­ment­ed it with the teach­ing about His Son­ship to God and His Divin­i­ty. Why was this? Because true love for God and peo­ple is pos­si­ble no way oth­er than by the influ­ence of faith in the Divin­i­ty of Christ the Sav­iour, that He is the incar­nate Son of God. Such faith arous­es love for God, for how can one not love God, who has loved us so much, Who did not even spare His Only-Begot­ten Son, but gave Him up for us? Faith brings this love to com­plete ful­fil­ment, or to what it seeks; while love seeks a liv­ing union. To attain this union, one must over­come a feel­ing of God’s right­eous­ness which pun­ish­es sin; with­out this it is ter­ri­fy­ing to approach God. This feel­ing is over­come through the con­vic­tion that God’s right­eous­ness is sat­is­fied by the death on the cross of the Son of God. Such a con­vic­tion comes from faith; con­se­quent­ly, faith opens the path of love toward God. This is the first thing. Sec­ond: faith in the Divin­i­ty of the Son of God Who was incar­nate, suf­fered, and was buried for our sake, gives an exam­ple of love for one’s neigh­bor; for love is when one lays down his soul for his beloved. Faith also gives strength for the man­i­fes­ta­tion of such love. To have such love, one must become a new per­son instead of an ego­tis­ti­cal person—one must become a self-sac­ri­fic­ing per­son. Only in Christ does a per­son become a new crea­ture; but we can only be in Christ if we unite with Christ by faith and grace-filled rebirth through the holy mys­ter­ies accept­ed with faith. From here it fol­lows that any expec­ta­tion by peo­ple with­out faith to main­tain even good moral con­duct is in vain. Every­thing is togeth­er; it is impos­si­ble to divide a man. One must sat­is­fy all of him.