"There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and he said, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” He replied to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live."

My dear friends in Christ, Love is the foundation of our relationship with God. Where would you be today without God’s love and mercy for you? What would you have today without God’s help or assistance? Our lives as Christians today is a life centered on God’s love for us and on our call love our neighbors. Remember, it was because of love that God made us in his image and likeness. It was because of love that God sent his only begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins. It was because of love that the Holy Spirit was sent to us to teach, illumine and enlighten us. It was because of love that we have the Church today and are nourished, nurtured and sanctified in and by the Sacraments. It is still because of God’s love for us that we are blessed to be here today to worship him and to be nourished with his word, body and blood in the Holy Eucharist. But why do we still find it difficult to love God and show that love of God in our love for our neighbors? It is a very sad reality that we live in a world that cherishes and thrives in setting up barriers of hate and discrimination based on race, language, economic status, educational qualification, beliefs etc. So how can we live out the gospel of love today so as to inherit eternal life later? How can we love God better with all our heart, with all our being, with all our strength, and with all our mind? And how can we love our neighbor as ourselves? We can love God better by:

  1. Accepting his word. Let us always accept the word of God proclaimed to us in our readings and his word explained to us in the homilies.
  2. Obedience. If we want to love God better, then, we have to be obedient to his commandments and live out his gospel daily by our lives, that is, in our thoughts, words and actions.
  3. Preaching the gospel - In order to make the word of God we have heard and accepted bear fruit in our lives today, we have to preach his gospel daily and wherever we find ourselves.
We can love our neighbors better:
  1. When we stop being judgmental about others, that is, when we stop condemning others and being more accepting of them the way they are, and patiently bringing them closer to God.
  2. Forgiveness - In order to be more loving of others, we have to learn how to be forgiving, like God forgives us our sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and welcomes us back to his sheepfold.
  3. Charity - We can love our neighbors better by being more charitable in helping them. Being charitable doesn’t only involve giving money or food to those in need, but being present in their lives if we can by giving them words of advice, by praying for them, by a ministry of hospitality, and by journeying with them in their times of joy, pain and sorrow.
My dear brothers and sisters, if we truly want to inherit eternal life and be with God in heaven after our lives here in earth, we have to love God better by accepting his word, by being obedient to him and by preaching his gospel to the world. Also, if we want to love our neighbors better, we have to stop being judgmental about them, learn how to forgive others and be more charitable to them.