This love has proven to be so great and so powerful that it can break every barrier that causes disunity, division and even war. Our Lord Jesus not only gave His disciples this command but most importantly, He clearly exemplified this kind of love by laying down His life for His disciples, whom he called His friends, and for all of humanity. He lived His own word. It is only this kind of love that can bring true peace, joy, hope and strength because it is pure, unselfish, unconditional and infinite. It is, and should always be, the basic foundation of every family, every community and our universal church.
This command “to love one another” sounds so simple and easy to do. Let us be reminded though that what our Lord Jesus really meant was for us to love one another not just once in a while, or sometimes, or most of the time, but always and constantly. How can we make the Spirit of Love alive in our hearts? In the first reading, the apostles accepted the Gentiles in order to show that God shows no partiality. So as a community, we should also remain inclusive by demonstrating our openness as we welcome anyone who wants to have a closer relationship with God.
Our love for one another is manifested whenever we get together and pray for each other. Our willingness to accept our ministry assignments is another way of showing our love for all, realizing that everyone plays an important role in community building and that together, we collectively perform our mission to share God’s love with others. It is only our love and faith that can defeat or remove our fear or reluctance to accept ministry assignments offered to us. Our faith includes our belief that God qualifies those whom He calls to serve Him.
We love one another when we complement each other by helping and supporting our community activities; when we care and feel for each other; when we share in our success or failure, our joy or sorrow, our strength or weakness, our triumph or struggle; when choices are made for the good of all; and when ideas are shared out of love for others.
A good measure of our love for one another is the way we interact with each other as individuals and as members of different ministries. 1Peter 5:5b, says to “clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: ‘God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble.’” We follow this through our openness to the suggestions of others, our gentleness and patience when dealing with each other, our respect for everyone’s boundaries of responsibilities, our willingness to break through the barriers of pride and self-righteousness, and most of all, our determination to make a conscious effort to live in the fruits of the Holy Spirit that bring peace and joy to our community.
Why do we need to make the Spirit of Love alive always in our hearts? Without love,
there can only be disunity. In Matthew 12:25, the Lord warned us that “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, and no town or house divided against itself will stand.” The Lord called on us for a reason. In John 15:16, He tells us that: “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.”…
As His disciples and as one community, we are called to bear fruits that will remain. Our fruitfulness is dependent upon how much love we have for each other. This includes our willingness and determination to seek and help those who are lost in their spiritual journey, and we should not give up on our efforts.
We believe that God is love. How we feel about each other is a reflection on our community as a whole. It is only our love for each other that can make us realize the fulfillment of our commissioning as God’s chosen community.