In the Gospel of Mark (12:28), a scribe asks Jesus, “What is the most important commandment?” Jesus answers: “You shall love your God.” But then—very importantly—Jesus says there is a related commandment that is also of utmost importance: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” How do Masonic values help bring power and impact to this teaching? Why is there such a powerful cause-and-effect between Masonic values and charitable giving?
The Meaning of “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”
In today’s pop psychology world, too many people have focused on the “love yourself” part of “Love your neighbor as yourself.” While that is vital for your wellbeing, many Biblical scholars have pointed out that Jesus’ statement really places the emphasis elsewhere. When you are hungry, do you need food? When you are thirsty, do you need water? When you are wet and cold, do you need shelter? When you grieve or suffer, do you need comfort?
Well, just as you need these and other things, so does your neighbor. And just as you seek these things for yourself, you should seek to offer them to your neighbor, if he or she is not able to do so for themselves. That’s the kind of mindset and devotion Jesus was talking about when he said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Masonic Values in Action
From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been empowered precisely by that values-centered mindset, as demonstrated by its ardent focus on care for orphans, the sick, and the aged. This devotion continues today—more powerfully than ever. Each day of the year, Masons worldwide raise more than $2.6 million to help those in need, through large donations to national and local charities.
Uplifting Souls and Communities in Maine
Here at the Valley of Portland, we join each day with our Masonic brothers worldwide to empower each other and support our neighbors in need and our local communities. The Valley of Portland’s Mission Statement calls for “teaching and emulating the principles of Brotherly Love.” That’s why—for more than 20 years—we have so passionately supported such organizations as the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Portland, which offers children with dyslexia the skills they need to approach learning with eagerness and without fear. And it’s why we so devotedly engage in year-round charitable giving through such efforts the Blue Envelope Appeal.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught that “every good tree bears good fruit.” In that way, the “tree” of Freemasonry—based on brotherly love, kindness, and honor—bears the “good fruit” of charitable giving that has changed countless lives for the better.
For more information about the Valley of Portland’s charitable efforts for others, we invite you to visit here.
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