“Do not offend the Lord our God any more, because He is already so much offended” (Our Lady, 13th October, 1917).
The Call that the Message is making to us here reminds us once again of the need to observe the first of all the commandments of God’s Law, in other words, the love of God. The precept to love God is the first of the commandments, not only on account of the unique greatness of the Object it contemplates, but also because it is this love which will lead us to fulfill faithfully all the other commandments.
Speaking to his people through Moses, God said: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deut 6, 4-9).
God’s insistence that we should engrave the law of his Love in our hearts, that we should use it as a symbol on our arm and a frontlet before our eyes, that we should have it written on the doors and doorposts of our houses, is in order to ensure that it should always be present to us, that we should meditate on it night and day, and that we should teach it to our children, to our brothers and sisters and to all those around us. This love is to be a guide for our footsteps, a light for our aspirations and the object of our desire. It is to be the guide of our footsteps, that is, we must walk in the path of love.
One day, the Pharisees came to Jesus and one of them, who was a doctor of the law, asked him: “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets'” (Mt 22:34-40). This second commandment to which Jesus refers had been given to his people in these words: “You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord. You shall keep my statutes” (Lev 19:18-19).
The essence of the Message—Do not offend the Lord our God any more—is contained in the observance of these two commandments. We all know that it is by sin that we offend God, when we fail to observe this commandment of love which we owe to Him, to our neighbor and to ourselves; yes, to ourselves, because we do serious harm to ourselves also, at times without thinking or feeling that we do.
We offend God because we transgress his precepts, all of which are a manifestation of his love for us. As in the case of the love of a father, who takes his son by the hand and points out to him the path he is to follow in order to attain happiness and inherit his father’s property, if the son becomes unruly and rebellious, if he despises the things his father has taught him, obviously he hurts and offends his father in the most sensitive part of his heart, his love.
In the same way, when we despise or violate the commandments of God, we cause hurt and offence to that which is most magnificent in God, in the fatherly love with which He created us, enfolded us with loving care in all that surrounds us for our good and which He created for our good, the love with which He redeemed us from sin and opened to us the gates of Heaven, with which He will grant to us our inheritance in his Kingdom. Hence, every sin is an offence against God our Father and a rejection of His love, since we are preferring our sin to the love we owe to God and to possession of his Kingdom, knowing that by our sin we lose the right to it.