In the Gospel reading today from John 13, Judas has just left the upper room. Jesus says to the Eleven, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it. The new commandment, wrapped up in three words. Love one another.
He goes on to say, “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Too often, love is a four-letter word. It sounds so easy on paper. And sure, Jesus was able to do it. After all, He is the Son of God. Of course He loves everyone. But if you think about it, Jesus had every reason and every opportunity not to love plenty of folks. He was persecuted, falsely accused, laughed at, walked away from, even abandoned by those closest to Him.
But Jesus wasn’t all about Jesus. He was about you. And me. And every other precious soul that He, the Author of Life, created. His life is a reminder that love isn’t about what we get. It is about what we give. Jesus gave His life; every fiber of His being. For you. And me. And everybody else who ever was, is and is to come. Can we do any less?
Father, forgive us for those times when we fail to love one another, for any reason. Teach us selflessness, that we might truly give of ourselves, as Jesus did. For us. Amen.