17 May 2019 | Posted by: chadmin
Jesus gives some instruction to His apostles in this week’s Gospel. “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.” I personally believe “love” is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented aspects of human life. People often think of and describe love as a feeling or an emotion. People describe love as making someone feel good. Certainly feelings and emotions can be part of expressed love, but it is nowhere in the words of Jesus. When Jesus talks about love, he talks about self-sacrifice. Love is laying your life down for others. Love is behavioral. Love is something that is lived, not something that is felt. When we provide service for another, there can be a good feeling attached, but that is not the love and that is certainly not why we do the good. Love is something that is observable, according to Jesus, and illustrates to others that one is imitating Jesus.
Love carries feelings and emotions in the human psyche but at its essence love is Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Ultimately, Jesus is love. We come to Mass to talk to God; we come to pray for insight and guidance. The process of prayer is a reflection on how to live love better. As we pray this week, Jesus invites us to reflect on his way of loving is a commandment. It is not something that is optional. We will be judged on how well we loved like him. We will be judged on our Christ imitation. Jesus showed his love by remaining truthful when he could have lied to save his life. Jesus showed his love by challenging Peter and Judas to realize their sin and change their lives. Jesus modeled that real love is being authentically oneself. Jesus showed that real love doesn’t force the other to do what we want, but meets the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of others. There are so many levels to authentic love but to Jesus it is something behavioral, observable, and repeatable. As we think about how well we love this week, we should be thinking about how the world experiences us. Are people’s lives better because of the way I behave or communicate, or does the world have to change to accommodate me.
Love is other directed, while wiling the truth of the commandments for everyone. We can’t will someone’s good, while we observe the breaking of commandments. Jesus died on the cross because he spoke the truth when truth wasn’t wanted. May we all find a consistency of love in our lives that allow us to be ourselves, express true care for others, and maintain the high expectation of following Christian commandments. Have a great week.