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Did You Choose to Love One Another?

I hear the creaks of the back door and know my husband must be walking through it. I glance at the clock even though I’d just looked at it mere minutes before; almost like I can’t resist knowing precisely how late he is in coming home from work. 6:54 is a bigger crime than 6:50.

He offers a tentative “hey” upon entering the room, and I can tell he’s wondering how best to sidestep the landmines of my exasperation. Like so many times before, I feel the Holy Spirit reminding me that I have a choice: respond in love and believe the best about the man I married, or grow bitter and hardened by driving the wedge of disunity further between us.

Let us love one another. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? It’s not exactly groundbreaking theology, and Saint John the Apostle himself admits when penning the words that we should already know them. “Not as though I were writing a new commandment,” he says in today’s First Reading, “but the one we have had from the beginning: let us love one another.” (2 John 1:5-6).

There are complex mysteries in the orthodoxy of our faith, and developing your theology through study and debate is a worthwhile endeavor. But isn’t it the simplest, most readily understandable teachings of Christ and the Church that are the most difficult to live out?

Let us love one another.

It’s a concept so elementary that we expect children to understand, yet we work our entire lives struggling to actually do it. In the end, I don’t think it will matter much whether I had a flawless apologetic for the Virgin birth. I do think it will matter whether I chose to love the people God had given me.

So when my husband taps my shoulder with a wary, “hey,” I stand up to give him a hug and I tell him the truth. “I missed you.”

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Are you struggling to channel love in a friendship or relationship right now? Swallow and find a path back to love through Christ.

Shannon Evans is a writer, speaker, wife, and mother through birth and adoption whose work has been featured in St. Anthony Messenger, America, and Tapestry magazines. As a convert, she writes about living an integrated life of faith. She is the author of our Blessed Conversations: The Our Father, our Advent reflection Bearing Light, our forthcoming reflection for Lent, and has a forthcoming book with Our Sunday Visitor available spring 2019. You can find out more about her here

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Amy
    November 16, 2018 at 8:57 am

    This nails it. Love. We make things so complicated sometimes, but ultimately love sums up the law. Thank you for this. Your personal example hits home with me.

  • Reply
    danielle
    November 18, 2018 at 3:31 am

    thank you for this lovely reflection 🙂

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