Day 7, January 20th.
Pope Francis: “Today’s Gospel Reading reminds us that the whole of Divine Law can be summed up in our love for God and neighbour: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment.” Yet, Jesus adds something “and a second is like it, you shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Jesus does not invent the second commandment, but places these two commandments together — love for God and love for neighbour — revealing that they are in fact inseparable and complementary, two sides of the same coin. You cannot love God without loving your neighbour and you cannot love your neighbour without loving God.
The Commandment to love God and neighbour is the first, not because it is at the top of the list of Commandments but because it is at the centre, because it is from the heart that everything must go out and to which everything must return and refer.
Now, in the light of this Word of Jesus, love is the measure of faith, and faith is the soul of love. We can no longer separate a religious life, a pious life, from service to brothers and sisters, to the real brothers and sisters that we encounter. We can no longer divide prayer, the encounter with God in the Sacraments, from listening to the other, closeness to his life, especially to his wounds. Remember this: love is the measure of faith. How much do you love? Each one may answer silently. How is your faith? My faith is as I love. And faith is the soul of love.
Jesus makes an opening through which one can catch a glimpse of two faces: the face of the Father and the face of the brother. He does not give us two formulas or two precepts: there are no precepts nor formulas. He gives us two faces, actually only one real face, that of God reflected in many faces, because in the face of each brother, especially of the smallest, the most fragile, the defenceless and needy, there is God’s own image. And we must ask ourselves: when we meet one of these brothers, are we able to recognize the face of God in him? Are we able to do this? In this way, Jesus offers to all the fundamental criteria on which to base one’s life. But, above all, He gave us the Holy Spirit, who allows us to love God and neighbour as He does, with a free and generous heart. The Angelus, St Peter’s Square, Sunday 26th October 2014.
St Vincent Pallotti wrote in 1841: “Jesus (…) I intend, now and for ever, in union with all past, present, future and possible creatures to love you, the Father and the Holy Spirit with the same love as that of our divine Heart.” OOCC X, p.676. And in 1835: “The divine precept (is) to love one’s neighbour as oneself, and no one would observe the divine precept which calls us all to love our neighbour as ourselves if he did not seek in every possible way to procure eternal salvation for himself and his neighbour.” OOCC IV, p.4.
St. Vincent Pallotti, you were formed and called by God, the Infinite Love.
You answered God’s call to serve.
You were there:
for those seeking forgiveness and counsel,
for the sick,
for the youth and the aging,
for the rich and the poor,
for the people of every profession and walk of life.
Every person is important to you.
You inspire us to seek God in all things,
Reminding us of our call to be apostles
In the Church and in the world.
Now we call upon you to intercede for us.
Help us to pray. Help us to pray only for what we truly need;
Help us to grow in holiness, to live for the honour of God and for the salvation of our neighbour. You received many graces from God and we ask you to bless us now by presenting our petitions to God (Pause to mention your intentions)
With you we give thanks to God as if He had already granted us what we have asked in the name of Jesus who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen!
St. Vincent Pallotti, pray for us
Our Lady Queen of Apostles, pray for us
Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory be…