The ten commandments, widely known and observed, can be expressed and fulfilled in the love of God and love of neighbor. The trespasses that we are tempted to commit against our neighbor can be overcome by truly treating others as we would treat ourselves. St. Paul explains:
“Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, [namely] “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)
Love, in secular terms, is the stuff of romance novels, movies and songs. In theological terms, love is a synonym for charity, and is one of the three theological virtues. The following quote from Saint Paul provides definition and clarity:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1Corinthians 13:4-7)
To love as God loves is to be a good steward of His abundant blessings in service to others. Faith, hope and love, put into action, indeed fulfills the law. Saint Peter speaks to the intensity necessary in serving God and neighbor:
“The end of all things is at hand. Therefore, be serious and sober for prayers. Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace. Whoever preaches, let it be with the words of God; whoever serves, let it be with the strength that God supplies, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and dominion forever and ever” (1Peter 4:7-11)
Let us pray for the strength and grace to live in God’s will, and to fulfill the two great commandments of love as we journey toward Heaven.