Today’s Gospel: John 13:31-33A, 34-35 – Fifth Sunday of Easter
The 13th chapter of John’s Gospel recounts Jesus saying farewell to His Apostles. There is an urgency to what He says. He knows the time He has left with them is short. He calls them His children, and like a loving father or elder brother, He gives instructions He wants them to remember. A new commandment. It’s as if the upper room was a New Testament Mount Sinai moment, and an eleventh commandment was added to the God’s original ten. This commandment isn’t a DON’T, like most all the others. It is a DO. Jesus commands them, and all of us too, to love as He loves. To love each other. To love freely, fully, faithfully, and sacrificially.
When I think of how selfishness, sarcasm and apathy so often turn our focus inward, it may seem like that kind of love is impossible. Maybe we could direct love like that at some people sometimes. But if it is a command, then Jesus wasn’t offering a suggestion with options. It was supposed to be every day, every person, all the time. He commanded us to do the impossible, to love as He loves, because with His grace – and only with His grace – is that kind of love possible for us.
Have I allowed God’s grace to enable me to love every person as Jesus loves me?
Beloved Jesus, fill my heart with Your grace, so that it is possible for me to love everyone as You do. Grant me the strength to love each person, each day, Your way.
Copyright 2019 Cathy Gilmore
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