Friday, August 24, 2018
Christ then said to His disciples, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:33-35
Here we witness once again the command of Christ … “Love”. He could have said, “Turn all that I have said into a myriad of laws,” but He didn’t. He could have said, “Make sure you argue among yourselves the doctrinal claims,” but He didn’t. He could have said, “Build powerful institutions to control the world,” but He didn’t. No, His only commands were that we were to Love with a Love that was in the manner of His Love.
That turn of phrase, “Love just as I have loved you!” It could be a mere statement that Christ did indeed Love His disciples, but more and more, I believe it is referring to the manner of His Love. Love in the manner that I have Loved you.
We too often speak of Christian Love in a vague generality. We often lump Christ’s manner of Love into the spectrum of love, somewhere along the line between affectionate love to stoic love. We often tend to think of Christian Love in terms of a reluctant liking of that which we do not like. But what was the manner of Christ’s Love?
Christ’s manner of Love was gracious, always investing hope into the life of another and even into society.
Christ’s manner of Love was merciful, always healing the broken and restoring the wayward.
Christ’s manner of Love was empathetic, always sensing with deep understanding what was going on within the souls of others.
Christ’s manner of Love was specific and tangible, always touching the lepers, always providing the bread, always reaching out with a rescuing hand.
Christ’s manner of Love was self-giving, always sharing His heart and His soul for the sake of saving others.
But for me, possibly the most significant attribute of Christ’s manner of Love … was that it was humble and honest and heartfelt.
What are we as Christians and the Christian community to be known for? I believe Christ said … “It would be Love in the manner I have loved you.”
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz