Called to Love One Another
This commandment and the preceding one are like two separate halves of a whole, linked by a common command to love – to love God and to love our neighbors. The second flows out of the first. Unless we love God out of surrendered hearts we will not be able to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Jesus taught that “all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12) and if we follow this principle we will love others as ourselves. If we want to be shown love, then we must show love to others by our own example.
When Jesus told His disciples that He was giving them a new commandment to love one another as He had loved them (Matt 13:34), He was calling them and us to follow His example in loving sacrificially as He had.
Jesus went on to say “by this shall all men know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another.” By showing the love of Jesus in loving and serving others we have an opportunity to witness to our faith in Jesus and point others to Him. People recognize Jesus in us through our good works and give glory to God. (matt 5:16) To quote Mother Teresa “The fruit of love is service, which is compassion in action. Love is a fruit in season at all times, within reach of every hand, a life not lived for others is not a life.”
We are to be a place of love: where people encounter God’s love for them, where people feel loved and accepted for who they are, without judgement nor discrimination. It’s all about love worked out in kindness, generosity, patience and hospitality. (Bishop Jonathan Ruhimalazah, Rwanda)
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John 4:11. God’s Love is an unconditional, sacrificial and practical love. Jesus showed this kind of love. Do we love others with this kind of love? Let us seek the help of the Holy Spirit who pours God’s love into our hearts for us to pass it on to others.
1 John 3:14c says He who does not love his brother abides in death. A strong indictment. Let us take up the challenge and start loving others as Jesus loved us, remembering that every soul who crosses our path is a soul entrusted to us love and nurture.
Loving Lord, teach us to love like you do. You love us as we are, warts and all. Grant us your grace o love others as you love us. Ad recipients of your grace may we be willing to set ourselves aside to love others in a way that glorifies you. In your Name we pray. Amen.