The second commandment is similar to the first (cf. Mt 22:39) and cannot be separated from it. We love others with that selfsame love which God puts into our hearts and with which he loves them. Here too, how many obstacles in the way of making others our neighbour: we do not love God and our neighbour enough. Why do we still have so many difficulties in leaving the important but insufficient stage of thought, declarations or protestations, in order to become truly immigrants with the immigrants, refugees with the refugees, and poor alongside those who lack everything?
The liturgical period of Lent is given us in and through the Church in order to purify us of that remainder of selfishness and excessive attachment to things – material or otherwise – which keep us apart from those who have a right to our help: principally those who, whether physically near of far, are unable to live their lives with dignity as men and women created by God in his image and likeness.
Allow yourselves, then, to be imbued by the spirit of penance and conversion, which is the spirit of love and sharing. Imitating Christ, draw close to those who have been left naked and wounded, those whom the world ignores or rejects.
-Blessed John Paul II, Message for Lent (1982)Blessed John Paul II, through your intercession may we live like Christ as we approach the time of His passion and death.