Fifth Sunday of Easter

May 14, 2019

Love One Another

 "I give you a new commandment: love one another." With these words, Jesus sums up the law and the prophets in one concise phrase. Love one another. After 2,000 years, you'd think we'd have it figured out by now! But all too often we fail in this commandment. Perhaps we mistake "love" for mere "common decency." Perhaps we've been betrayed, or our own visions of love have been tarnished or misrepresented in our lives. Blessedly, Jesus doesn't leave us without a guide.
 
"As I have loved you, so you also should love one another." Jesus himself modeled what this love should look like. So what are some of the characteristics of the love of Christ? Humility, for one. St. Paul writes that Jesus "emptied Himself." In becoming man, Jesus puts aside the full splendor of the Godhead. Not only does he become human, but he takes on many of the mundane privations of human life. He spent most of his life in relative poverty - especially by our standards - as a common laborer. When he began gaining popularity as a preacher, he still traveled on foot and spent nights in other people's homes or outdoors. 
 
Jesus' love is generous. He was always available to the crowds and to being interrupted by people in need. He invested time in his disciples and patiently taught them about the kingdom of God. The love of Jesus is also courageous. He encountered many people deemed less worthy of human respect, due to being public sinners or having a physical or mental disability. Jesus was brave in breaking these social boundaries to show care and concern to the outcast. These traits are possible for us to imitate! Indeed, we are hardly identifiable as Christians without them. "This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

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