“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.
You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s gospel, Jesus calls on us to “love one another as I love you.” Simple, right? I love my family, my friends, my students, and sometimes my heart positively swells with love when I read about people doing good deeds and being kind to complete strangers. That part’s easy. But Jesus never asks us to do anything easy.
So what does it mean to love as God loves me? It means to love without condition, without guile, and without pretense–to love those who are less than perfect or who disappoint me– to love everyone—the complete strangers I encounter everyday on my way to and from work, the inattentive drivers who make me crazy, and the guy on the news whose views I find offensive and ugly. How do I do this?
It’s not easy—nothing worthwhile ever is. But I’m not alone, for Jesus said, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.” If I am open to receiving God’s love, and intentional about encountering love all around me, then I will be better able to share this love with others–to love them as God loves me.
–Mrs. Lynne Casey is a librarian and teaches in the English department at St. Louis U. High.
Love is shown more in deeds than in words.
—St. Ignatius Loyola
Please share the Good Word with your friends!