This "new commandment" humanizes and gives universal meaning to all the other commandments, since the latter, if they are interpreted methodically, necessarily lead to this unitary plea. This commandment expresses Jesus' most important break with Judaism: the logic of the Fathers' religion opens itself up to "another" dimension, thus signalling a shift from Mosaic law to the law of love, i.e., the presence of God in human history. This commandment does not reflect a law of Reason, but rather the truth underlying every individual's condition. But whom should we consider our neighbours? Is it possible to transcend the individual's solitude and open oneself to others? Can we emerge from ourselves and recognize our fellow humans? This is a difficult commandment, which is often defied. One may not put it into practice, but one cannot deny its power nor refuse to acknowledge that it has radically changed the history of humanity.
Enzo Bianchi, prior of the Bose Monastic Community, used to teach Biblical Theology at the San Raffaele University in Milan and writes for several newspapers and magazines.
Massimo Cacciari teaches Aesthetics at the San Raffaele University in Milan.