Today our Lord Jesus teaches us His greatest commandment, which is to love God. This is number one. It summarizes His greatest demand from us. Nothing surpasses it. Love of our neighbor is presumed integrally linked to love of God. No one can say he loves God, but hates his neighbor. If we don’t love our neighbor then we don’t love God. It could be said that the Christian faith is summed up in one word: Love. This is the greatest commandment, the new law, that we love God and our neighbor.
In recent decades, there has appeared much criticism of crucifixes. In fact, in some places they have been taken down, because they supposedly promote a negative message. Thus there are processional crosses without the corpus or in some churches images of only the Risen Lord. To these misguided persons the crucified Lord seems sad, and they say crucifixes might alienate the young and the un-churched. Nothing could be further from the truth! I once asked a cloistered religious what she saw in the image of the crucified savior. Immediately, and with a joyful smile, she said that she sees in the image of the crucified Lord a loving and merciful God, our heavenly Father, with open arms ready to embrace the world. A traditional Catholic proudly displays the crucifix in his home. Often a devout Catholic family gathers before the crucifix and other religious statues and images to pray together.
In the Stations of the Cross, according to the method of St. Alphonsus de Liguori, we repeat over and over: “I love Thee, O my Jesus, with my whole heart. I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.” We should pray this prayer often, especially as we prepare to receive the Lord Jesus in the Sacrament of Love, the Holy Eucharist. May His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity preserve our souls in love unto life eternal. Amen. Jesus, for Thee I live, Jesus, for Thee I die, Jesus, I am Thine in life and in death. Amen
Fr. Mark G. Mazza, Pastor
Chaplain to the Traditional Latin Mass Society