Is the First and greatest commandment - Love God equal to the second commandment - love your neighbour as yourself?
Let us find out what the Catholic Church teaches ... Note: The text I highlight are my comments.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
2196 In response to the question about the first of the commandments, Jesus says: "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these. (Source) [Here the CCC states there is two commandments and in no terms says that we are to love God and to love ourselves equally with God. God clearly states we are to love Him with much more devotion.]
These two commands really do sum up everything. For love of neighbor means to will good to another for the other's sake. Love of God cannot be precisely that, for we cannot will good to God. But we do know that Scripture pictures Him as pleased when we obey, displeased when we do not. He cannot gain anything from our obedience, but He is pleased for two reasons: 1) His Holiness loves everything that is morally good: goodness says creatures must obey their Creator, children their Father; 2) In His generosity He wills to give good to us, but that is in vain if we are not open to receive. (Source) [Loving our neighbour is NOT the same as loving God. Our neighbour loving us is the same thing. We are commanded to love neighbour and God.]
“Whatsoever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did it for Me.” [Many people do good to others, however it is not the same as doing good to others for God. Even then do we not need to adore, worship and love God directly? Why have two commandments?]
1 John 4:19-21
We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. [By loving God we must "ALSO" love our neighbours. It is NOT the same as love as for God.]
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple." [This verse says it all: God comes first. (We are always second compared to God.)]
Matthew 10: 35-38
For I have come to turn “ ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law - a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. [God first!]
There are two thing that can be observed 1) We must love God and we must love one another as ourselves. These two commandments are inseparable. 2) There is the first (the greatest) and second commandments; it is NOT 'this' and 'this' commandment. We do not love man equally as we love God, everything has it's place even in love.
Let's make this case: However much we love God in others, we must love God much more than others, much more than ourselves. What about the Eucharistic God? All our heart, all our soul, all our mind, all our strength.
Al: Catholic, learning and thankful.