Love Your Neighbor as Yourself: Matthew 22:34-46

Matthew 22:34-46 (CEB)

34 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had left the Sadducees speechless, they met together. 35 One of them, a legal expert, tested him. 36 “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”

41 Now as the Pharisees were gathering, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?”

“David’s son,” they replied.

43 He said, “Then how is it that David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, called him Lord when he said, 44 The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right side until I turn your enemies into your footstool’?45 If David calls him Lord, how can he be David’s son?” 46 Nobody was able to answer him. And from that day forward nobody dared to ask him anything.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silence bringing your attention to the Breath.
  • Inhale the greatest commandment.  Exhale anything any obstacles keeping you from embracing the greatest commandment and the one like it.
  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart.
  • Love the lord your God with all your being.
  • Love the Lord your God with all your mind.
  • Love your neighbor.
  • Love yourself.
  • Hear Christ say these commandments before your enemies.
  • Pray that their hearts will be softened and that they will see and know why is was so important for God to walk side-by-side humanity again and teach them, again, the greatest commandment.
  • How is God walking side-by-side you today teaching you/us, again, the greatest commandment?
  • What is your invitation from God?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, October 25, 2020, the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Matthew 22:34-46

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings.  (c) 2020 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD

Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX.  Upon completion of her spiritual direction training, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time.  Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within.  It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well.  So she began to share them on this site.

As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance.  If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do.  Keep wrestling.  God is faithful to your journey.  Love and hope will emerge.  Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.

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