In this third part of the reflection on love from the First Letter of John, we see how our love for others reflects the love that flows from the heart of God. When we love one another we are acting on the Lord’s commandment and showing the world the face of Christ.
Tag Archives: Love one another
Study: Reflect on some people who live their faith through their loving thoughts, words, and actions.
Pray: Is there a person or situation in your life that calls for greater charity? Ask the Lord for the wisdom and guidance to do it.
Serve: Is there someone in your life right now who would benefit from your time, attention, and/or effort? How can you help?
What is the central and most important part of being a Christian? What should be the focus around which we build our lives?
The answer is explicit: LOVE.
Jesus takes the two commands, love of God and love of neighbor and links them as the heart of the Christian message – from which the teaching of the entire Scriptures finds its soul. Love is the sign of the Church, it is the proof of faith, and it is the reality which reveals to others the depth of our commitment as disciples of Jesus Christ.
But what do these commands mean for us? After all, the question for each of us is “How does the law of Love affect me? How do these commands shape my life?”
I look at this from three different angles:
* By how I THINK.
* By how I SPEAK.
* By how I ACT.
In other words, do my thoughts, words, and actions reveal the law of love in my life? When I look at myself in each of these areas do I measure up with the commands of Jesus?
Imagine that each of these parts of life could be made into a movie. I see myself watching “The Thoughts of Fr. Andrew,” followed by “The Words of Fr. Andrew,” and then “The Actions of Fr. Andrew.” Do I like what I see on the screen?
When we come to the end of our lives, I doubt if many of us will wish we had worked more, or earned more money, or bought more things. In the end I expect most of us will wish we had spent more time loving the people in our lives – through what we thought, said, and did.
This love, which comes from God, is intended for us to share while we are here on earth. Our faith tells us that one day the Lord will call us home. On that day may we find ourselves prepared; having loved one another in this life we will then step into eternal Love in the Kingdom of Heaven.
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Note: This blog was first published on October 20, 2014.
The stress and tension of the recent riots, compounded by COVID-19 concerns, reveals the crucial need to carry out the love of Christ that we hear about in the Gospel of Mark today.
The First Letter of John cuts through any warm and fuzzy notions of love with a decisive evaluation: we reveal our love for God through our love for one another. May this practical test guide and direct our actions, powered by the love of Christ.
The First Letter of St. John offers a beautiful and moving reflection on how God’s love moves in and through us into the world. May the Lord’s love flow through us today!
Have you ever tried to get a gift for “the person who has everything” and been frustrated in the process? Everything we have comes from God…everything! The Lord needs nothing from us, but asks for only one thing: a loving heart that reaches out to others.
The parable of the Prodigal Son is well known, yet when we reflect on the depth of the father’s love we are challenged to live up to this incredible standard: to love without limit.
Jesus, the Master Teacher, offers brilliant clarity in teaching about the great commandment to love God and one another. The teaching is simple and direct; the challenge is living out this commandment each and every day.
Study: Recall a time when you were treated kindly…and you didn’t deserve it. How did this kindness affect you?
Pray: Is there someone in your life who is difficult to love? Ask the Lord for grace and strength.
Serve: Is there a “neighbor” in your life that you are feeling called to help? How can you reach out?
The story of the Good Samaritan takes many of us back to our elementary school days of religious education. It’s worth taking a moment to examine the structure of the context within which the parable is located in chapter ten of Luke’s Gospel:
- v. 25 – The lawyer’s question
- v. 26 – Jesus’ counter-question
- v. 27 – The lawyer’s response
- v. 28 – Jesus’ imperative & command
- v. 29 – The lawyer’s 2nd question
- v. 30-36 – The Good Samaritan parable
- v. 37a – The lawyer’s response
- v. 38b – Jesus’ imperative & command
The first half of this passage pertains to the notion of eternal life and what we must do – loving God and one another. This is a recap of the two Great Commandments, and we all generally nod our heads in agreement at the lawyer’s answer.
The second half, however, pushes the question “Who is my neighbor?” as Jesus uses the parable to point out that all people – regardless of race, color, religion – are our neighbor. Remember: the Samaritan is not Jewish, yet fulfills the command of loving the neighbor!
The takeaway for us today happens on many levels:
- Our words and actions define us – especially when we are in challenging situations.
- Who are the people in my life that are difficult to love?
- How might I take steps to love these “neighbors” God sets before me?
While there are many ways to demonstrate our love for the Lord, a clear example occurs when we act in kind and merciful ways toward one another. May see clearly our neighbors and respond to their needs with the love of Jesus Christ.
Note: This post was first published on July 4, 2016.
We all know that Jesus commands us to love one another, but all too often we overlook the sacrifice it takes to follow the teaching and example of Jesus. All three readings today point out that there will be a cost…and we will pay it with our lives.