Based on the Gospel of John 13:31-33a, 34-35
Love with a mission! While we continue celebrating the Easter Season, this Sunday’s Gospel speaks of the Last Supper. Jesus and his disciples are in the upper room to celebrate the Jewish Passover. After Jesus washes the disciples’ feet and Judas leaves the room, Jesus says he will be leaving them soon. Jesus knows the time has come for his suffering and death on the cross, his rising from the dead, and his return to his father in heaven.
Jesus says to his disciples, “I give you a new commandment: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
What is “new” about this commandment is how Jesus showed his unselfish love for others while on earth. Growing up in Nazareth, he was obedient and helpful to Mary and Joseph. When teaching, Jesus showed his love for others by performing many miracles such as changing water into wine at the wedding in Cana, healing the lepers, healing the blind and disabled, feeding the 5,000 people, and raising Lazarus and a young girl from the dead. Jesus’ love helped people to accept God in their lives.
Jesus’ ultimate gift of total, unselfish love was his suffering and death on the cross and his Resurrection so someday we can gain eternal life in heaven with him.
As Jesus’ followers, our love must be an evangelizing love so that God comes into the lives of people around us. We can show Jesus’ love to others by treating others as we would like to be treated, by unselfishly helping others with their needs and by praying for others and asking God to bless them.
Sometimes it’s easy; sometimes it’s hard to love others. But, by our faith in Jesus and by unselfishly trying to love others as Jesus loved, we, too, can help people to know God and his goodness.
Blessed Mother Teresa once said, “Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action and that action is service. How do we put the love for God in action? By being faithful to our family, to the duties that God has entrusted to us. Whatever form we are – able or disabled, rich or poor – it is not how much we do but how much love we put in the doing – a lifelong sharing of love with others.”
Then, we are doing what Jesus commanded, and “People will know we are Christians by our love!”