Acts of the Apostles 14:21-27
Book of Revelation 21:1-5a
John 13:31-33a; 34-35
by Sister Jane Hibbard, SNJM
“Love one another as I have loved you.” As I have loved you.
How does God love us? Ponder that. “As the Father has loved me so I have loved you.” We are invited into a love beyond imagining. Our God is all forgiving, all merciful and all loving. To even begin to comprehend this amazing gift of love and grace, ponder the feeling you had when you felt truly loved, by a friend, a parent, a spouse, someone who loved you in spite of your faults and failings. Try to just imagine how much our God loves us and what it means to “love one another as I have loved you.”
The readings today call us to every form of this love. In the first reading from Acts, Paul says: “it is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”
So this love that Jesus speaks of is not just all roses. Those roses have thorns and we know from our life experience that there will be difficult times of trying to love and failing, grief over those who die and many other times when we are called to let the love of God show us the way. It won’t always feel good.
But then in the second reading from Revelations…..God will wipe away every tear. We have the description of a “new heaven and a new earth,” beckoning us to keep our eyes on the prize. “Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race.” That should take our breath way. That is amazing. And that leads to the Gospel: “As I have loved you, so you should love one another.”
We are called to live the life we have been given, in the place where we are, with the people who surround us. Our God has given us the formula: to love with the love of God. Dear God, help us to get up every morning with fresh energy for the life we have, counting on your abundant love to be with us, lighting the way.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“As we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God’s commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love.” Prologue 49
“I give you a new commandment, says the Lord: love one another as I have loved you.” John 13:34