08 May Love One Another (Jn 15:12-13) by Jeff Grabosky
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” ~ Jn 15:12-13 (full readings)
Jeff’s Reflections: Today’s Gospel passage contains a simple, yet powerful message: Love one another. Sounds easy, right? Earlier today I went to have my wife’s engagement ring cleaned at the jewelry store I purchased it at a few years ago. While I sat down and waited for them to finish, I looked around at all the photos of seemingly perfect, stress-free, and smiling couples. I couldn’t help but laugh, not because couples are not joyous together, but because the world so often gives us the idea that love is easy. The world would teach us that love feels good all the time and is an easy and fun feeling to have. I may have relatively little experience in marriage as we just celebrated our two year anniversary, but I can most certainly affirm that love is not easy, or by any means simple. I am beginning to discover how much deeper of a relationship I can have with both my wife and with God when I follow Jesus’ commands instead of my own ways. It has been more through the sacrifices and difficult days in our marriage, rather than the easy times, that I have grown to fall more in love with my wife. Christ tells us to love one another as He loved us. Whenever I read this Gospel, I remember that Christ loved us so much that He died for us. Do I do that for my family each day? Do I do that for my neighbor? Do I do that for God? While most people are not asked to physically die to display their love for God or one another, I have to stop and think if I really die to my own desires for the sake of loving others. If we truly love those around us, then we will also help carry each other’s burdens. We will take care of those in need, especially those who do not have a voice. We will stand up for the truth regardless of persecution. This is what it truly means to love. Jesus gave us a beautiful example of this, and the picture of that perfect love is the cross. The cross, while painful, is not a sign of misery, but a sign of hope and an example of God’s love for every human life. Let us pray for ourselves, and one another, for the grace to joyfully follow this most holy and beautiful example.
* Jeff Grabosky, his wife Mary, and children Luciana (15 months old) and Charlie (2 months old) live in Jefferson City, MO. Jeff is the author of Running With God Across America, which details his prayerful run across the United States in 2011. LIFE Runners co-founder Pat Castle met Jeff along that faith journey (daily bread story)..
Faith Challenge: Take a few minutes of your day to think how you can either help carry someone else’s burden, or show a person love the way you would imagine Jesus would do for that person.
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Feast Day: St. Victor Maurus
Faith Quote: “What is the mark of love for your neighbor? Not to seek what is for your own benefit, but what is for the benefit of the one loved, both in body and in soul.” ~ St. Basil the Great
Through Christ our Lord,
1 Cor 9:24-27