Acts 14:21-27 Revelation 21:1-5a John 13:31-33a, 34-35
When the children were little and we took them out in public, I felt like a border collie. While “Daddy” blazed a path through a crowd, (think Cedar Point), I brought up the rear. “1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4,” I kept count in my head. Keeping them safe. Taking care of them.
Now they're all grown. But like the border collie I once was, I keep track of them. A text. a phone call. How are you doing? How are the kids? Have you seen the doctor yet?
There will be a time when I can no longer do that for them. Then, my final words to them will be, “Take care of each other. Love one another… as I have loved you”.
Though we are in Eastertide, today's gospel takes us back to the last supper. And the last things Jesus tells to his dearest friends. He does not leave them with dogmatic statements, with theological principles. He says simply, “Love one another as I have loved you”.
And though his immediate audience is his closest friends we know that his love extended way, way beyond that circle of intimates. His whole public ministry was marked by compassion for the excluded, the marginalized, those who carried heavy burdens imposed by religious and political authorities. Even those who nailed him to the cross were included in his love, as he prayed that they be forgiven.
“Love one another as I have loved you” is the new commandment given to us as his disciples. Sometimes it's easy to love the other person. Sometimes that other person gets on our last nerve! And loving takes a little more effort. I suspect that's when our discipleship really kicks in.
I have just finished reading ,The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness, by Gregory Boyle, S. J., the founder of Homeboy Industries. And I am in awe. Here former gang members who have done terrible things… and to whom terrible things have been done,… are loved into life.
Love. It cures.
And because God desires our healing and wholeness, we are to love one another… without exception… as God has loved us.
by: Pat Schnee