In today’s gospel Jesus gets to the point very quickly: “Love one another as I have loved you”. In all things, Jesus leads by example and so when we ask ourselves, “How did Jesus love?” many images come to mind. We see Jesus healing the blind and the lame. We see him touching lepers and blessing children. We hear him telling the woman caught in adultery “neither do I condemn you”. And we see his arms stretched wide on the cross, submitting to death for our salvation. That’s how Jesus loved.
The entire life of Jesus, not just his death, was a continual outpouring of self for others. Jesus loved with his presence, and he continues to love us in this way. We experience his presence when we come to the Word of God, when we seek him out in prayer, and when we encounter him in Holy Communion.
Jesus gives this new commandment at the Last Supper. His disciples have been with him for several years by now. They have witnessed him showing love to one and all. The new commandment asks them to continue the work of bringing the love of Jesus to the world. St Teresa of Avila wrote a famous prayer called “Christ has no body”. In it she tells us Christ has no body but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours, yours are the eyes with which he looks with compassion on the world!.
The task has been passed on to us. Jesus gives you and me the mission: “As I have loved you, you must love one another”.
Very Rev Dean Kevin Donaghy PP VG