The two commandments of love

There was a poor boy who loved ice-creams. He walked into a cafeteria. 

The waiter placed a glass of water on the table and asked him what he wanted to order. The boy asked “How much is an ice-cream?” 

He answered “Fifty rupees”. 

The boy removed all the coins from his pocket and began to count them. 

The waiter got impatient.  After the counting, the boy then asked “What is the price of a sandwich?”

With much more impatience and anger, the waiter replied “Thirty rupees”.

He placed the order.

He had his sandwich and left the cafeteria. Minutes later when the waiter was cleaning his table, tears rolled down his eyes as he saw a twenty rupee tip on the table.

It requires love and a spirit of sacrifice to look to the needs of others.

When one of the scribes asked Jesus which is the first commandment of all, Jesus promptly replied “Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul with all your mind and with all your strength”.

But Jesus also cautioned that true worship and love of God is complete only when we look lovingly to the needs of others.

He said “The second commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these.  This is far more important than any burnt offering or sacrifice” (Mark 12:28-34).

In the Old Testament Prophet Amos delivers the Word of The Lord to those who worshiped without practicing charity and justice.

 “Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them.  Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps” (Amos 5:22-23).

There is an interesting incident in the life of Mother Teresa that spells the meaning of love of neighbor.

A man came to Mother Teresa and informed her of a family of eight children who had not had a meal for days. Mother Teresa immediately packed food and took it to the family.

But Mother Teresa was surprised to see the lady serving portions of food to her children and then taking a portion of food out of the house. 

When the lady returned Mother Teresa asked her where she had gone. 

The lady replied “A family in the neighborhood too has been without food so I went to share this portion with them”.

As you count the blessings God has given you, think of those whom you can share it with.

The Lord promises blessings upon the charitable. “Give, and it will be given to you.

A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap (Luke 6:38).

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