“As I have loved you, so you should also love one another.”// John 13:34
I love the cozy home I have made out of my little apartment. My heart breathes easily here; it feels like a little sanctuary in the middle of all the things going on in my life. Every picture or piece of art I have displayed is meaningful and speaks to me in some way.
It is the first home I have made for myself, and I love it. Right above my kitchen tables hangs a light blue hand-painted sign that reads, “Love God. Love People.” It is a simple, yet powerful reminder for how I want to live this one life I have.
The Gospel today beautifully echoes that little sign hanging in my kitchen.
Jesus was starting to prepare His disciples for the reality that He would leave them. They would only have Him a bit longer. But He was adamant: the way He loved each of them is how they are called to love each other. It feels like the last piece of advice a coach gives the football team before they go out on the field to attempt a critical play.
So what does the love of Jesus look like? How did He love His closest friends, the disciples?
Selfless. Rich. Abundant. Reckless. Overflowing. Merciful. Compassionate. Radical.
This is how Jesus loved, how He loved each of the disciples and how He loves you and me. One of the reasons Christians in the early Church stood out so much to secular Roman culture was how they loved each other. They loved each other with the very love Jesus showed them.
Each of these words to describe the love of Jesus is how we are called to love. It is not easy nor always the thing we want to do. However, it is the way of the disciple.
Has your love grown stingy or cold? Is it easier to only love those who agree with you or have your viewpoint? Do you only love the people you choose to love?
Jesus, stretch me to love more authentically like You. May people encounter Your love when they meet and interact with me.Jesus, stretch me to love more authentically like You. // Patty Breen Click To Tweet