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Friday, May 22, 2009

Loving God in Loving One Another

By Dean Louis Bascon 6th Sunday of Easter May 17, 2009 (Jn 15:9-17)

"As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love.

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give you. This I command you: love one another."

Love is the very essence of Christianity. It is the very essence of Christ's life and teaching. Everything began in love. Man was created by God in his great love. God has shown His constant love even when man turned away from him. Finally, the story of God's love for man reached it's climax on Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. Truly, no one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends (Jn 15:13).

God's love is so great that He laid down His life, not just for His friends, but for everyone. He died for us while we were yet sinners (Rom 5:8). He even died for His enemies, for the Gentiles, for everyone! God's love and salvation is for all men. God shows no favoritism (Acts 10:34).

In His great love for man, God has always sought after man's love in return. This is epitomized by Jesus on the cross when He said, "I thirst" (Jn 19:28). By that He meant that He thirsts for love. And we are the ones who should be loving Him.

It is imperative for us Christians to love. It is God who first loved us, and that love we have received from Him is so overwhelming that we ought to share it to others. We ought to love one another just us Jesus loved us.

Maybe we would wonder, "Why do we need to love others? Can't we just love Jesus back?" Jesus Himself answered this when He said that whatever we did to the least of our brothers and sisters, we did to Him (Mt 25:40). If we love our neighbor, we are loving God, for they are created in God's image, just like we are. St. John also explains: If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. (1 Jn 4:20).

If we love Christ, we should obey His commandments. We should remain in the path He pointed out for us. We should love God and love our neighbor.

This is how we know that we are Christians. If we don't have love, how dare we call ourselves Christians?

1 comment:

  1. ... and no christian can call himself such without living in a community ... for LOVE is best expressed and manifested in a community ... hence we are all encouraged 'to wash each others feet!'