Our Gospel this week is John 15:9-17, taken today from the New International Version (NIV).
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: love each other.
Jesus emphasizes the importance of loving each other as the way we show our love for God. The lesson in 1 John 4:20 teaches “You cannot love God and hate your brother.” He then encourages us “love each other as I have loved you” (v. 12).
This is often difficult for us, facing conflict in our lives. We feel the sting of disappointment when others reject us, and the rush of anger when we are challenged. Jesus teaches we must love them anyway, forgiving as He forgave even those who nailed Him to the cross.
Jesus wants love for God and each other to be the motivation for everything we do. He says this is the most important commandment of all. When we act out of love, we show that we are God’s children, followers of Christ who share His love and truth with the world.
Loving Lord, help us to see You in all our brothers and sisters, and love them as You first loved us. May we act in Your name, bringing the love You give to everyone we meet. Amen.