Jesus sums up the Law as first, loving God with one's whole being, the second part is almost a way of checking that out because if we truly love God we will love neighbour as ourselves. If the there is something flawed or 'idolatrous' in our love of God then it is going to be impossible to love our neighbour.
What is deeply rooted in Christian Tradition and in the bible is that our love is expected to bring forth fruit: abundant fruit. The scattered seed brings forth a harvest 30, 40, a hundredfold, the net cast into sea brings about an abundant catch, the sound tree brings forth not bad fruit but good fruit, the pruned vine is fruitful, the tiny seed grows into a place where the birds of the air find a home.
Christians too are expected to produce, 'good fruit', if we don't then there is something wrong. The Gospel expects goodness. The fruit of a correct love of God is what we might describe as saintliness or holiness..
The summary of the Law and the Prophets in Jesus' two commandments can be checked out by the 10 Commandments. If we are covetous, adulterous, lying, murderous which are easy things to judge then there is something seriously wrong.
Always, well, until recently, we Catholics have expected contact with God to produce holiness, first of all holiness in us as individuals and consequently holiness that acts like leaven or light in our society. We believe that the goodness of God changes us and through that change in us we change society. We are not supposed to be busy-bodies imposing an social justice ethic on others without ourselves being just and holy.
|we belong with the angels and saints|
God's grace is sufficient for us, St Paul tells us. God's grace enables us to be holy, to produce the necessary fruit, to live good and holy lives, to tell the truth even if we have been or said stupid things, to live as faithful bishops or priests, to be faithful husbands and wives, to be good parents, to be faithful members of the Church, to live well and to die well, and if necessary, as we see so often today in Africa and the Middle East to die for him.
The great triumph of Satan is to give us us the sense that our sinfulness is stronger than God's grace, to make us think we are trapped in the hopeless downward spiral of sin but faith is always linked to hope, to Resurrection and the expectation of the victory of Christ. The message of the Gospel is always that the Grace perfects nature, that the Risen Lord Triumphs. The shenanigans of the Synod has shocked me and many others, it seemed to demonstrate the Church is a very worldly corporation rather than something which sought neither God or the sanctification of his people.
We must indeed welcome sinners but it is un-Christian to expect them to remain in their sin, certainly we must 'meet them where they are at' but we are called to lead them through the gate of the sheepfold, to carry their Cross, along the narrow road, to put on the wedding garment and to be ready to meet the King on His return in the wedding hall, with lamps brightly lit, at the Marriage feast of the Lamb.
Our faith is indeed a journey, a journey into holiness. Again and again scripture tells us to judge: to judge a tree by its fruit, to judge a disciple by his works, to judge the times by the signs, to judge whether a place will receive the Gospel or not. We are called to make judgements about our lives and about actions and about those who we trust and those who lead us. The criteria for our judgement is simple, it is: what will get me to Heaven.
If our actions, our lifestyle, our friends or anything else is likely to lead to the loss of Heaven, get rid of them. Do the things that bring you close to God, live good lives according to God's Commandments, be moral, pray, go to the Sacraments frequently in a worthy state.
Be Holy even as your Heavenly Father is Holy!