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I was playing my homemade Catholic Jeopardy with the Faith Formation class last night and I asked. "What is the 2nd greatest commandment". The kids were all like, "umm obey your parents", "Don't swear", etc... and I just said. "Love your neighbor". Well, just then the Director of Religious Ed. walks in and she just wanted to make sure I added the ..."as yourself" part. I didn't think that was terribly important, she said it was important because teenagers have a hard time seeing themselves as someone loveable.

So, I've got a notion that the following three precious words of Jesus are pretty much the same thing:

Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.

(Matt 7:12 NABRE)

love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another

(John 13:34 NABRE)

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

(Mark 12:31 NABRE)

What I want to know is:

  1. Is is the commandment itself just to love or is the description of how to love wrapped up in the commandment.
  2. Do we love each other as Jesus loves us and love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
  3. Does 'Do Unto' mean 'Love in this way'
  4. If not how does 'Do unto others' fit into the way we're supposed to treat each other?
  5. How could I phrase what I meant to say so it encapsulates all three aspects of how we're supposed to love and treat each other and ourselves?

    I think Pope John Paul II (before he was Pope) wrote in Love and Responsibility something about love your neighbor being more than just 'do unto others', but I'm not sure how. That might be a good starting point though.

Since this question is about love, and love is eternal, I'd gladly accept any answer that makes sense from any perspective.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by David Jan 6 at 13:07

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

FWIW, I'm with your Dir. of Religious Ed. I've never heard this as any church's official doctrine, but I've always privately taken the three parts of the Greatest Commandments as corresponding to the Trinity. Love God (the Father) and love your neighbor (the Holy Spirit, when Christians gather together) as yourself (Jesus, the Way to a personal relationship with God). –  Chris Sunami Jan 6 at 17:07
Would this question be considered answerable if it requested that all answers utilize Catholic sources? –  Bear in a Studebaker Jan 6 at 19:38

2 Answers 2

I will try to answer this, but how to love is shown in various parts of the NT, but I think the best description of what is not love is

1 Cor 13

You will find that love is not a feeling, but an action. For example, Jesus ordered that we love one another.

JOHN 13:34 NKJ 34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

If it was a feeling you can't command people to feel a certain way, but you can command that they act a certain way.

So, when we are ordered to love our neighbor, and we know from the story of the Good Samaritan that everyone is our neighbor, and Jesus talked about how we should love our enemies:

Matt 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

So, love is more encompassing that just feeling or pretending to love by being nice to others.

So, perhaps something along the lines of:

Love everyone, especially those that hate you, where you are willing to die for them, just as Jesus was willing to die for us, but start with loving yourself, as Jesus loved us enough to die for each of us.

What I am trying to show is that Jesus valued us enough to die, so we should reciprocate by loving ourself, as, if we can't love ourselves, then how can we truly love anyone else. The Holy Spirit isn't going to hang out in a place that is filled with hate, and if you hate yourself, then that is not a hospitable home for the Holy Spirit.

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Did Jesus say especially those who hate you? Maybe love everyone and free to love those who love you more. –  Jim Thio Nov 17 '11 at 6:28
@Jim Thio - King James 2000: But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you; –  James Black Nov 19 '11 at 13:43
It depends on the translation. –  James Black Nov 19 '11 at 13:44
@JimThio - You don't pray for either side to win, but for God's will to be done, and if possible protect our troops, but praying that the terrorists are killed is wrong, as Jesus died for them as he died for us. Pray always that we are available to do God's will, and that we accept it, though we may feel it is wrong, much as Jonah didn't want to go to Ninevah because he wanted them to be destroyed, and if he went they would repent. he didn't want to help God, but in the end he agreed to. –  James Black Nov 21 '11 at 3:47
@JimThio - Why are they enemies? It may be that we need to be more Christ-like and find a way to love them. It is easy to hate, love is harder. –  James Black Nov 21 '11 at 10:27

Does the Forgiveness of sins hang and depend on the greatest commandments?

When Jesus spent his time on Earth, he would have lived by the greatest commandments; this would have been the greatest way he could respond to each and every situation in his life. But how did Jesus love all his neighbours as he loved himself, Judas who betrayed him, the soldiers who nailed him to the cross? Jesus was an innocent man, with the power and authority to ask God for justice. But it seems that nothing, and no one should stand in the way of Jesus loving all his neighbours as he loved himself, and we know that he prayed on the cross, ‘forgive them Father’

It seems that every time Jesus suffered injustice here on Earth, he forgave, in order that he should continue to love the sinners as he loved himself. If Jesus can forgive the people who had him killed, then it should give us hope that we can be forgiven also. What kind of a burden do we place on Jesus with our sins?

After his resurrection does the divine nature of Jesus, follow his human nature? When Jesus ascended into heaven, does Jesus still forgive us, in order that he should continue to love each and every one of us as he loves himself?



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Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

I'm not arguing the validity of what you say, but this would be a much better answer if you had supporting references. As it is, it reads like a personal interpretation rather than an established teaching. See How we are different than other sites? and What makes a good supported answer? –  David Jan 6 at 13:07

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