Choose Love and Service
Today’s gospel is taken from the thirteenth chapter of the gospel of John. Earlier in this chapter, following the foot washing, Jesus asked his disciples: “Do you know what I have done for you? I have given you an example, that as I have done you also must do.” In today’s gospel Jesus speaks more on this topic. “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.” Jesus gives us an example of love and asks us to follow his example.
The Acts of the Apostles tells of how the early community of believers was known by the way they loved one another. Our reading today demonstrates how Paul and Barnabas witnessed to this love by proclaiming the good news (the gospel) in a variety of places. “They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith.” Love isn’t always easy but we must persevere in the call to love, a call from Jesus himself. When we commit ourselves to love, when we make the choice for love, we will be helping make real “the new heavens and the new earth” John saw in his vision from the Book of Revelation (2nd reading). As John says in that reading, “God’s dwelling is with the human race.” May others recognize God’s dwelling here among us because we choose to love and serve, following the example set by our Jesus our friend, brother, and savior. Peace.