GOSPEL Matt. 22. v. 35.
At that time, the pharisees came to Jesus, and one of them, a doctor of the law, asked Him, tempting Him: Master, which is the great commandment of the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets. And the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying: What think you of Christ? whose son is He? They said to Him: David’s. He saith to them: How then doth David in spirit call Him Lord, saying: The Lord said to my Lord: Sit on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool? If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son? And no man was able to answer Him a word; neither durst any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions. 


To love God, with all our heart, with all our soul & c. is the greatest Commandment, either as it importeth so perfect a love of God, as to avoid not only mortal but venial sins, and so being the most perfect & hardest, is therefore the greatest, or as it avoideth only mortal sins, and so it is the greatest commandment, in that it is the mover and motive of keeping all the commandments, so far forth as is necessary to salvation, though not to perfection.

In that it is the mover, it moveth & maketh us to keep all the commandments: in that it is the motive, it maketh us to keep them all alike, the motive, to wit the love of God being all one.

Likewise it is the great commandment because of it dependeth the value of all the commandments, for unless they be done out of the love of God and for his sake, they are not meritorious towards life everlasting, and consequently are as nothing.

If I should give all I have to the poor (sayth St. Paul) yea my body to be burned, and do it not out of charity, or the love of God, it is nothing: that is to say, nothing available unto salvation.

The principal sign we love God, is if we do his will, and that with delight, for delight is the measure of love, and therefore St. Paul exhorteth, when we give alms, to do it not, as out of compulsion or fear, or obligation, as though otherwise we would not do it, but with delight for God sayth, he lovesth a cheerful giver, or dooer of any thing.

Another sign is, if we love our neighbor as ourselves, not in that measure, as ourselves, but in that manner to wit, unto Equity and Justice, and the salvation of his soul. & this is the second commandment and like unto the first, because it is to be done out of the same motive, to wit, out of the love of God.

For, as St. John sayth, if we love not our neighbor who,m we see, how can we love God whom we see not, our neighbor being the lively Image of God? Wherefore, if we love God, we will love our neighbor, and if we love our neighbor for God, we love God in our Neighbor even as a dead Image, whose nature is, as it is an image, to be nothing but a relation unto the person whose image it is, if we seem to show any honor or reverence unto the Image, it passeth to the person whose Image it is.


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