A New Commandment: Love One Another
On the Fifth Sunday of Easter, from the Gospel of St. John, Jesus gives us a new commandment:
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.”-John 13:34-35, NAB
By giving us a new commandment, Jesus was asserting and affirming that He truly is God. What is the commandment that He gave us? To love one another. He could have commanded us to do anything, and He chose this simple, yet profound, task.
Loving one another should be the central focus of a Christian life. Everything we do should flow from it. When we give to the poor, it is out of love. When we volunteer at a hospice, it is out of love. When we give tithes to the Church, it is out of love. When we share our faith, it is out of love.
We do not necessarily need to be serving the Church to love one another. Helping a friend going through troubled times is showing love. Opening the door for the stranger next to you is showing love. Carrying groceries for an elderly woman is showing love.
God gives us plenty of opportunities to love, both inside and outside of the Church. Taking these opportunities does two things. First, we are obeying Christ’s commandment. Second, we are showing the world what it means to be Christian. The world can best see Christ through our loving actions.
Christ gave us a new commandment – to love one another. We need to follow it because it is a commandment, but we should also want to follow it because we are following Christ’s example. By loving one another, we experience what it truly means to be Christian.