The Two Great Commandments and The Ten Commandments
Today we're going to start talking about the Ten Commandments. Today we will focus on the two great commandments. Do you recall that Jesus Is our shepherd and we are all his sheep? Remember that the sheep are those who love as Jesus wants them to love and who follow him. Jesus is the shepherd who will lead them to heaven. In this lesson, we are going to learn that the goats are those who refuse to love Jesus and who turn away from him.
As always here are a few questions for you to think about while we go through this lesson.
Who will take us to the Father on the last day?
What must be in our hearts when the Lord comes?
Will our Lord have to ask us if we love him?
What are some ways to show love of neighbor?
Do we love God if we only love those who we like?
Before we find out about what the two great commandments are, let's start by reading from a section from the Holy Bible. This will be from Saint Matthew's Gospel chapter 25: 31-45.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Since we're going to be talking about the Ten Commandments, let's see what they are.
I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have strange Gods before Me.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day.
Honor thy father and thy mother.
Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Thou shalt not steal.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's Goods.
The two great commandments are not spelled out here directly in the Ten Commandments, but if we follow the two great commandments we are naturally going to be following each and every one of the Ten Commandments. So what are the two great commandments, you might ask? The first great commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with your whole strength. The second great commandment is to love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.
I hope you see that if you love God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and with everything that you have in your being, and if you love your neighbor as much as you love yourself, you will be following all the Ten Commandments. When you are following the Ten Commandments, you will be doing what Jesus wants you to do in order to get to heaven. Remember, that one day we're going to appear before Jesus our king, and on that day he's going to judge us.
When he judges us, he is going to look at everything that we've ever done in our life. The biggest things that he will be looking for are if we have love in our hearts and if we have loved others while we are were living our life here on earth. You can take a look at your life right now to see if you really have love in your heart. Are you always kind to everyone that you see? Do you judge others before you find out how they really are? Are you helpful and are you generous? Do you really listen to others? Do you help in every way, the people who you know? Do you make fun of people and do you talk about them behind their backs? I think we should all look at ourselves in the mirror every day. That goes for me and you. We should ask ourselves these questions. Have I really loved myself today? Have I really loved my neighbor and my friends? Have I really loved God today?
If God is going to ask us those these questions, then we might as well be asking those of ourselves as we are living today so we will be able to live the way God wants us to live. If you are always loving yourself and loving your neighbor you can probably be pretty sure that you are following the Ten Commandments. If you're following the Ten Commandments, then Jesus will definitely know you as one of his sheep and not as one of the goats.
It's very important for us to believe what God has revealed to us and taught us through his Church, and to also to keep his laws and his commandments. These are both very very important if we want to make it to heaven after we die. If you take a closer look at the Ten Commandments you will see that the first three commandments of God teach us how to love God. The last seven of the Ten Commandments show us how to love one another.
Let's read a little bit more from the Bible. This reading will be an example of how we should love. It's from the Gospel of St Luke chapter 10: 25-37.
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Now let's have a reading from St Luke's Gospel about how to love others.
This will be from chapter 6: 27-38.
“But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit [is] that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as [also] your Father is merciful. “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
I hope you see from the readings and by the commandments that God gave us, that God really and truly wants us to love ourselves and to love one another.
Do you have any questions for me?
Student: Will Jesus know, without asking, if we love him?
Yes, Jesus will know what we think and he will know how we feel. He can see right inside of our heart and soul and he will know if we have loved before he asks us.
Student: Do we love God if we only love some of our neighbors?
No, if we only love some of our neighbors we are not truly loving like God wants us to love. God wants us to love everybody, those who we like and those who we do not like, those who we get along with, and those who we do not get along with.
Student: Do we have to keep holy the Lord's Day?
Yes, one of the Ten Commandments is that we must keep holy the Lord's Day. That means to pray and to go to Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation.
Student: What does the first great commandment tell us to do?
The first great commandment tells us to love the Lord our God with our whole heart, with our whole soul, with our whole mind, and with our whole strength.
Student: What does the fourth Commandment tell us to do?
The fourth Commandment says to honor thy father and thy mother. This means to not do anything against your mother or father here on earth and also to honor your Father in Heaven, as well as his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Student: Who must we love?
We must love ourselves and our neighbors, and of course, God.
I hope this lesson has helped you learn a little bit more about the Ten Commandments and the two great commandments.
Why don't you take a moment, after you finish this chapter, to say a nice prayer for anyone who you don't get along with? You can ask Jesus for both of you to get along better with each other and for you to love and to forgive that person for whatever it is that is bothering you.