Homily for May 19, 2017
If we were to summarize everything Jesus came to do on earth, it would end up in a four letter word: LOVE. Again, if we were to summarize everything Jesus taught us, it would end up in this same four letter word: LOVE.
Love is the one commandment. Once we love God and our neighbour as ourselves, we have kept all the requirements of the Ten Commandments. But then, given that the word “Love” has been over-used and even abused in our world, it is necessary to qualify the kind of love we are talking about.
Jesus says to us in today’s Gospel passage: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12. How did Jesus love us? By dying for us even when we humans did not appreciate or reciprocate his love. And this is what love really means.
Much of what we call love in our world today is “trade by barter.” It is: I love you so long as I can benefit from you. Once I am no longer benefiting from you, then my love for you vanishes. When I spend lavishly on you, I am “honey” but when I don’t spend, I become “monkey.” This kind of trade-by-barter-love is one that creates room for sin and all forms of immorality.
Jesus did not simply say we should love one another, he was wise enough to add “as I have loved you.” Jesus’ love for us was purely sacrificial, it was never erotic or exclusive. He loved all; he loved every one equally and he went ahead to call us his friends.
Do we even realize what a friend we have in Jesus? To what extent are we committed in maintaining our friendship with Jesus? Jesus says, we are his friends so long as we keep his command, to love one another as he did. Is my love for others Christ-like or is it a trade-by-barter love? Do I sacrifice for others without discrimination even when I stand to gain nothing in return?
As Christians, we have been chosen to bear fruits, how many persons have given their lives to God because of our influence? Is my lifestyle a form of evangelization or is it a stumbling block to those who want to come closer to God?
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach me what it really means to love as you did. Amen.
*Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Friday of the 5th Week of Easter. Bible Study: Acts 15:22-31 and John 15:12-17).