“Love one another as I have loved you.” This is what Jesus felt was one of the most important things He needed to get through to His friends. He taught many things, but love was the key component in all of what Christ taught and still teaches us today. It was the last important thing He asked of them just before He was arrested to be taken off and brutalized and killed. Knowing what was coming, all He cared about was making them understand that they needed to love everyone as He loved them. Because He knew in the end that’s all that mattered, was love because His Father in heaven is Love. When Jesus told His disciples to love one another, He knew He had very little time left, so this “new commandment” meant the world to Him!
Jesus of course knew that all His friends were sinners and He knew all of their own personal weaknesses, but that did not matter to Him, that was not important and so in spite of this knowledge He still commanded them, as He does us, to do the one thing sin, weakness and selfishness find hard to do…love one another. The reason why Jesus finds this the most important thing in life is because as far as He is concerned it’s people who matter the most.
Because of His unconditional love we all need to try and stop making excuses. We need to try and stop holding back our love as well as only giving our love to people who are like us. Think about it, if Jesus had only love those who thought the same way as He did, then Peter, Mary Magdalene, John, James and the like would have all been left out in the cold.
We also need to stop letting the wrongs that have been done to us by others, stop us from loving. If Jesus had held onto all the wrongs and cruelties that were done to Him it would have made Him decide that there was absolutely no reason for Him to sacrifice Himself for our sins. But He didn’t do that, He put aside any desire for revenge and He chose to live in love, the deepest and greatest kind of love that any of us will ever know.
When love is part of the equation it makes all the difference in the world. Jesus knows this far better than we do. He knows that all the sin in the world, and all the different divisions that come from this sin is because love is either misplaced or lost altogether. This is why Jesus asks us to love so that we can undo this reign of sin.
Love starts in the family. As Pope Francis said “Without family, life grows empty.” So, today we need to decide to try and make a difference in our own families by expressing our love to them. We should not allow disagreements get the upper hand. We need to try to bring people together. If we can show love and kindness in own homes, we’ll find it easier to meet the challenges around us and see them melt away through the power of love.