Scripture Reading: John 13:34-35
Man cannot live without love.” (Pope St. John Paul II). This Latin song: “Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est” is usually translated as, “Where charity and love are, God is there.” Thus, if people wish to bring about God’s kingdom, charity must abound.”
Perceiving the wisdom of Jesus by the answers He gave to the Sadducees when they tried to trap Him in words, a lawyer posed this question to Him: “Which is the greatest commandment in the law? Two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets too.” Matt 22:35-40 Much later when Jesus was about to go to the Cross in John 13:34 & 15:12, 17, He left His followers with just this one commandment … “Love one another; you must love one another just as I have loved you.”
Apostle Paul gave a profound summary of the issue when he wrote…“and the greatest is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13). The matter of love has been emphasized by the Holy Spirit as the summary of all that God requires of us as His children. God is love; St. John tells us, that anyone who abides in Him, abides in love. Love is God’s nature which He puts and grows in every heart that has received His Spirit. According to one Christian writer, “Love is not an emotion to be felt, it is beyond emotions. It is a life that springs from a nature. It is not selective of people rather it expresses itself to all who come across it. This means a man who has love inside him, will love, whether it is deserving or not. It is not something you feel, it is something you have inside. It flows unrestrained and unconditional no matter who is at the receiving end.
Whatever we do on earth, no matter the magnitude, is meaningless before God if this “greatest of all” is lacking in us. It is the highest and the most superior of God’s likeness that man is meant to exhibit. 1 John3:10, says that what distinguishes a child of God from that of the devil is that, whoever does not live uprightly and does not love his brother is not from God. It is rather frightening that whenever a man entertains a bitter thought in his heart towards another, he would have only succeeded in disconnecting himself from God and connecting with the devil. Yet in a world where
iniquity and wickedness abound, it is almost difficult to show love to others especially when we consider them undeserving.
Jesus taught us in the sermon at the mount that we are to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. And our Lord lived by example when He prayed for His murderers on the Cross. The matter of loving the undeserving is what God showed us when He loved us while we were yet sinners. As the Lord tells us to love one another as He has loved us, it is expedient that we recall how He has loved us despite our offensive and often erring ways. He is ever patient with us, always forgiving us. He never holds our past records against us and is always ready to make allowance for us. This is how we are to love others.
Beloved, if the Lord says that the summation of all the prophets and laws is LOVE, and it is what tells who a child of God is, then it means that we must pause in our rush and check our hearts if this greatest of all is in us. If it is not, then it is something we must remedy quickly. It is the Holy Spirit who puts and grows love in our hearts, since it is a fruit only He can bear in us. Why not ask Him to enroll you today among those who share in this divine attribute. Let us join St. Francis of Assisi to pray: ”Lord, grant that I might not so much seek to be loved as to love.”
2 Tm 4: 10-17ab; Ps 145: 10-11. 12-13ab. 17-18; (R. 12a); Accl Jn 15:16; Lk 10: 1-9
St. LUKE, EV F
- Thank the Lord for His eternal love for you.
- Confess all the times you have been unloving, especially to the undeserving.
- Bring every hurt and betrayal to the Lord and ask Him to help you to forgive those who inflicted them.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to shed His love in your heart. ( Take seriously)
- Ask the Lord to teach you to keep this greatest of all virtues.
Exercise: Call, text or visit someone that hurt you in the past and make peace with him/her.
Memory Verse: John13:35