Today we reflect on the reply of the Lord Jesus to another “trap” question of the Pharisees, this time about the greatest commandment in the law. The Lord gives simply the response – love, one, total donation of love expressed in two ways: love of God and love of neighbor (Mt 22).

But how do we love? How should love be shown? Jesus clarifies this when he mentions the commandment to love God.

Let us reflect on the way to love the Lord, and through him, our neighbor:

“with all your heart”: The heart is love’s symbol. The heart refers to the center of the person, from which flows affection and compassion. In the Scriptures, the heart is not only the deepest core but the totality of the person himself. Therefore, to love is to be totally involved, from the center going out. There is only heart, and so love must have only one focus, direction and object. Christians are commanded to adhere fully to God, to be faithful to him. With the same fidelity, we must love our neighbor.

“with all your soul”: In the time of the Lord, and even today, the soul is recognized as the life-principle of the body. Without the soul, the body is dead. Without the soul, the body lies dormant, inactive, and lacking vigor and force. But when the soul animates the body, life, joy and expressiveness flow. To love with all our soul is therefore to love fully. No laziness involved here; no hiding of love. It is like the experience of falling in love for the first time, and remaining that way always.

“and with all your mind”: What we love occupies our minds. Loving God does not only mean always thinking of God. It means above all, seeking to know the Lord even more. We cannot love what we do not know. But once we know and love someone, we seek to become more familiar, more intimate, more present to the one we love. There is a growth in love, and the mind helps us in this matter.

In loving, the heart, the soul and the mind must come together and work as one. Do we love with all our heart (involved and faithful), with all our soul (alive and joyous), and with all our mind (seeking and growing)?