Most Sunday mornings of my life have had this publicly stated to call us to something more. I grew up with Rite I and that is how I will always remember and say it.
“Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all my mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
O Lord our God who calls us most emphatically to love others as we love ourselves. Help us to find ways to love those who challenge us most. May we be able to comfortably recognize when our love must continue even though it is not reciprocated. May we also find ways to let our hurt be limited and our ability to forgive increased. While we struggle to not respond in anger, help us to not let our own pain formulate our response. Give us the ability to live into those two commandments when we most struggle with loving those who make that hard for us. Let us not give those who challenge us the ability to change our commitment to loving our neighbor as ourselves. Amen