Love Them Anyway~The Very Rev. Lady Sherwood, OPI

Reading I: Acts 14:21-27

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13

Reading II: Rev 21:1-5a

Alleluia: Jn 13:34

Gospel: Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35

Liturgical Colour: White

Love One Another as I have Loved You

My dearest brothers and sisters in Christ, firstly, let’s look at the Holy Gospel reading for today of Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35:

When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.  If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and God will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.  I give you a new commandment: love one another.  As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.  This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

There are some people we as humans may find easier to love than others. This could be family members or maybe our friends, but we are being commanded to Love ALL people just as our Lord and Saviour loves us. That is not an easy thing to do. Some people may be very hard to love, but we must endeavour our utmost to love them anyway. The Apostles previously could see Jesus, so it was very easy to follow him. But now that our Lord and Saviour has returned to God The Father, until he returns again in Glory, which he will, we are charged to be the light and love of Christ until he returns.

This means we are to shine his love to all people just as Our Lord would if he could presently be seen upon the earth. We are Jesus’s hands and feet upon the earth, we are his representatives until He returns.

We need to love each and every single one of our brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter how hard it may be to do so. We are the only Lord Jesus that some people will ever see, all must be able to see Jesus through our love and through our actions. This is what we have been called to Love one another.

We must see Jesus in every person we meet, no matter what the situation or the setting. Whether it be coming across a wealthy person in the finest of robes, or a naked person scrambling in the dust for titbits of food. We are to love all whether they live in large fancy mansions, to those living in the streets sleeping under torn pieces of cardboard. We are to love those who are kind to us, but we almost must love those who may may be unkind or whom may even hate us. Nobody is unloved by our Lord and Saviour and as such, nobody should be unloved by us either if we are truly doing what we have been called to do.

Only by our love and actions can our Lord Jesus Christ currently be seen upon the earth. We must be the love and light of our Lord to everyone, leaving out nobody from this love. By our love and our actions towards each other, is the way this world will know that we are truly the disciples of the Lord.

Are we truly loving others as we have been commanded to do? I think we as humans still have far to go in this area, especially with those whom it may be difficult to love. But we must strive ever harder to be the love of Christ throughout this world until Our Saviour returns as we have been commanded to do.

If someone is bad or hateful towards us, we must remember our Lord was hated by those he loved first, and like Him, we must love them regardless.

Let us pray:

Loving God, fill our hearts with the love that you freely give. Make love our first and last thoughts. May we love others and freely give to them. Make our spirit a spirit of joy, happiness, and love for both our friends and our enemies. Help us to love everyone as abundantly as you have loved us.  Amen.