Love One Another—the What, Why and How

http://usccb.org/bible/readings/051919.cfm

Many times people quote part of the Gospel and say “I give you a new commandment: Love one another” and are satisfied that encapsulates Jesus’s teaching, but the most important part has been omitted “As I have loved you, so also you should love one another.”

On its own “Love one another” is one of those pius sounding platitudes which in the end doesn’t always help. 

The scripture gives us so much more. In these scriptures we can find the what, why and how of Jesus’ words and actions.

What- Love

Why-To Glorify God

How-As Jesus did

If we model our love after the love that Jesus showed and taught us our love will be intentional, action oriented, and selfless.

Intentional 

Scripture indicates clearly that Jesus was intentional about his mission. He did not sit and wait for people to come to him, he intentionally set out to seek and save those were lost, disenfranchised and marginalized.  Those who traditionally were strangers and felt unloved were the primary targets of Jesus’ intentional love. Jesus did not know a stranger.

In reading the Gospel of Mark we get some sense of the frenzied travels of Jesus moving from place to place because it seems that there was always more who Jesus wanted to feel loved. Always one more town or village, one more situation, one more person to encounter. Jesus was truly an itinerant whose intention to love compelled him to move about.

Reflection

Who in your life do you need to intentionally seek out?

Who are the strangers in your life?

Action Oriented

Love is a decision not a feeling, and decisions that are conscious choices, backed up with action.  

Revelation 21 says:

“Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race.
He will dwell with them and they will be his people
and God himself will always be with them as their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,
for the old order has passed away.”

God decides to love humankind and the actions that follows includes dwelling among his people, drying tears, joining in with those who mourn, wail, and are in pain.  His love brings a new day and the old ways pass away. 

Reflection

Have you decided to love? Whom do you say you love? How do you love them?

Does your love offer a fresh new way rather than old, trite and stale ways of loving?

Selfless Love

Jesus had no need of anything. He loved because he decided too and all he did was to Glorify God. He gained nothing personally because he had no needs. Sometimes our human love is much less than perfect, maybe conditional and self serving. 

Reflection

Is your love fixed on “the other?”

Do you Glorify God in your loving?

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