Is it enough that we love God? Is it enough that we love Jesus? After all, isn’t that what God created us for, to love him? What else could we possibly need to do to assure that we spend eternity in heaven? Well … in today’s gospel Jesus tells us that simply loving the Lord, while necessary, is not the only commandment that we must accept in order to inherit eternal life.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”
It’s so much easier to love the Lord than to love our neighbor, isn’t it? After all, God is perfect and infinitely loving. Let’s face it, our families, our friends, and our coworkers are sometimes not so lovable. Despite that, Jesus commands us to love them anyway. It is hard to do, but it is a holy action when we set aside our feelings and offer each other loving care.
Love one another ….