I am never sure which came first, the chicken or the egg? This is what I think of each time I read this gospel. Which comes first – love of God, love of neighbour, or love of self?
Where do we begin, to achieve all three? The first article of the Constitutions of the Congregation of the Resurrection proclaims the unconditional love of God. God loves us first, and if we accept this love (and the grace that comes with it) we will have an understanding of ourselves as loved, blessed, gifted, and saved.
In gratitude we will love God in return! This love of self will also help us to love others in a selfless and more unconditional way, helping them to experience the same love of God, and positive self-image, that we have received from God. It sounds so simple and logical, but life and our human nature is ‘messy’, and it remains a challenge and struggle for us to love as we are loved (by God), love ourselves, and give the gift of love to others.