We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Today’s scripture from the first letter of John sums up the Jesuit way of life so well—living as men and women for others. By loving and caring for those around us whom we see, we in turn show love to our heavenly Father whom we cannot see. Jesus came to deliver us his greatest commandment; to love one another as he has loved us. Yes, this is quite a tall order, and yes, we will fail at this calling many times throughout our lives. Unconditionally loving those around us can be challenging at times because we often fail to recognize the eyes of Christ in them. But today’s scripture confirms that we are the begotten children of God and that, by loving each other, we love him. Nothing breaks a parent’s heart more than seeing their children fighting or apathetic toward each other. God feels the same way with us. We are all siblings under his name. Let us try and see the brother and sister in everyone we meet.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
—St. Francis of Assisi