Why love is the greatest commandment

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Lord My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday in the Twentieth Week of Ordinary Time, 25 August 2023
Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14-16, 22   <*{{{{>< + ><}}}}*>   Matthew 22:34-40
Photo by Mr. Jay Javier at Tayabas, Quezon, 13 August 2023.
O how often,
Lord Jesus Christ
that we ask you until now
the same question by 
a scholar of the law:
which commandment
of the law is the greatest?"
(Matthew 22:34).
And we have always known
your answer, which is, loving God
with one's total self
and loving others as we love our
very selves.
But why do we keep on asking
the same question until now?

Because, we have always believed
that loving is having,
that loving is fullness,
when in fact, it is the 
exact opposite:
loving is not having,
loving is being poor,
loving is emptiness,
loving is letting go,
loving is surrendering
for the one you love.
Just like Ruth,
that Moabite woman,
a pagan who left everything
to join her widowed
mother-in-law Naomi to go
back to Bethlehem;
both of them were
widowed, both were
childless and empty,
so poor without anything 
except each other
and God.
Let the words of Ruth
be our prayer today
to those we love 
without if nor buts,
especially those empty
and poor, sick and dying:
"Do not ask me to abandon 
or forsake you! for wherever
you go I will go, wherever 
you lodge I will lodge,
your people shall by my people,
and your God my God"
(Ruth 1:16).
God our Father,
help us to remain faithful
and to keep loving when
in the midst of sufferings
and trials, of emptiness
and nothingness like Ruth
to Naomi; how lovely to recall
that Ruth's love for Naomi led
to her becoming the grandmother
of King David and one of the four women
in Matthew's genealogy of Jesus
for it is loving without nothing in return
that we gain, and it is in loving 
even in losing ourselves
that we find ourselves in you.