Today’s Gospel: John 15:12-17
Do you ever find that sometimes Jesus’ words sound very nice and pretty, but it’s in the actual living out of his teachings that life gets nitty gritty? The command Jesus gives us in today’s reading, to “love one another,” sounds simple and sweet, but you and I both know how difficult “loving one another” can be in the reality of of daily living.
Husbands can get tired and withdrawn. Teenagers can grow surly and selfish. Toddlers are unreasonable and demanding. Even our own parents and elderly family members can be difficult to please as we do our best to love and care for them. People, with all of their flaws, weaknesses, and failures, can be hard to love. And yet Jesus says we must.
But the good news is that we don’t do the hard kind of loving alone. Jesus went first. Take a look at a crucifix and ask yourself if that man, bleeding and dying, hanging on a wooden cross for love of you and me, looks like a guy who only kind of cares? Jesus bleeds and dies on the cross because He loves us so very much and wants to give us not just good things, but He wants to give us His very self — every ounce of His life and being.
And He only us to do the same. He wants all of us in return. He wants us to give all of ourselves in our relationships with others. He wants us to put God and other first, and pour ourselves out completely out of love for one another.
Just like it did on the cross, that real kind of love, that real giving, hurts. But Jesus is here to help us through it. Let us look to His example and ask for the grace to do the same.
In what ways, and through what people, is Jesus asking me to follow His example of love today?
Jesus, You gave up Your life out of love for me. Show me how I can do the same — giving up and letting go — as I learn to love others and put Your will first today
Copyright 2019 Danielle Bean
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