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Simple and Direct

John 13:31 - 35

In a sense today’s Gospel is so simple and direct.

Jesus says ‘I give you a new commandment: love one another;

Just as I have loved you…. By this love you have for one another, everyone will

know that you are my disciples.’

We know that it may be simple and direct but that it is not easy. We face constantly our human condition with all its fears and self-centredness. Just imagine if we did take Jesus at his Word.

Christ loved his enemies and forgave those who put him to death.

Who are those people in our lives? Who are those people we do not include and harbour resentment for? Who are those people we think we are better than?

Of course, there are people who do take Jesus at his Word and despite their short falls keep persevering. That’s what we are all called to do. We know that in our heart of hearts. And it is important to focus on the selfless acts of love we offer every day. And give thanks for the positive witness of others around us. Our Christian faith is always about focusing on the other. How can I acknowledge and affirm the dignity of this person in front of me?

There is so much goodness around. Just reading in the paper yesterday about a man who rescued a family after he came across their car accident. The woman’s door was jammed, and he cried out in desperation, ‘God help me!’ He managed to rescue her, a man and a baby and when they were all safe the car exploded. He does not consider himself a hero. I would call him a brave and wonderful man. His response was a selfless act of love for his fellow human beings.

When we focus on the positive it can lift us out of the dark places we can go to sometimes that prevent us from loving other people and loving ourselves.

I never knew my Grandmother, but Mum would often repeat one of her wise sayings, ‘If you can’t say something positive about someone, it pays to say nothing at all. What does that say about some of the comments posted on social media?

Christ loves us no matter what. He knows who we are and still loves us. ‘Love one another just as I have loved you.’ Focusing on his love for us can only make us humble and more compassionate towards other people.

Listen to ‘What love can do’ from 'Truly Blessed'. We don’t always know what people are going through and how our positive and loving approach could have a real bearing on their lives.

All the best for the coming week.

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