The second part we know specifically as the “Golden Rule.” “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” If you study all the great world religions, you will find this basic tenet contained in all of them. It is all about giving credit to God for all there is (loving God), and respecting all of His creation. Jesus, as a good Jew, knows that God is always first; and then He also ties the love of neighbor to God. The two rules are conjoined: you can’t love God and then treat others badly, carelessly, thoughtlessly and hatefully.
There was a story of a great Talmudic rabbi named Hillel who lived around the time of Jesus. A Pagan man came to him and told him he would convert to Judaism if Hillel could teach him the (entire) Talmud while standing on one leg. (That would be somewhat like teaching the entire Bible while standing on one leg.) Hillel stood on one leg and said: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself. That is the whole idea of the Talmud─the rest is just commentary. Now go and learn.”
We know the Ten Commandments, we know our laws and prohibitions, but it really does come down to these two simple phrases of Jesus in the Gospel. All we believe as Christians boils down to a very simple tenet: love. In all things we are called to always act and speak in love alone. The hard thing is to live this law, to live this Golden Rule. We see this so clearly these days—just turn on your TV, look at facebook or follow twitter. The challenge we face as true disciples of Christ is to live always in the consciousness of loving God and each other with everything we have, to be present and to be aware of God as love, with everything we are—all of our being. Then, as Jesus says today, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” I’d like to see that kingdom here and now, wouldn’t you?