“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Mt 22:37-39
Certainly, we’ve heard this before. It’s the greatest commandment(s). These are Christ’s words for us. Put another way, Christ is calling us to the virtue of Charity, the greatest of the virtues as we know from St. Paul.
As we see in Christ’s words, Charity, or love, always starts with God first. To illustrate this point, St. Thomas Aquinas used the analogy of charity as heat from a furnace. The stronger our love for God, the hotter the furnace gets. The more and more our hearts burn with love, the further the warmth from the furnace reaches, even reaching to complete strangers. But, it’s those who are closest to us, with whom we interact every day who should receive the most heat.
It’s a reminder for us, today and every day, to put God first, give Him time in prayer, let the furnace of love for Him radiate to all of those we meet along the way.