The last line of today’s Gospel is a command: love one another. Due to that love, my heart is again breaking because of a weekend filled with shooting sprees in the USA. I am weeping because of the war in Ukraine and the twenty seven areas around the world with violence and conflict. Billions of people around the world continue to feel the effects of a global pandemic and I am filled with compassion and empathy.
In the Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples, “You are my friends if you do what I command: to love one another as I love you…to lay down one’s life for one’s friends…I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain…”
Jesus calls us friends not acquaintances. Acquaintances are plentiful when life is good and abundant. Acquaintances will distance themselves when controversy or stressful challenges arise. Jesus is the epitome of a friend. He is there in good times and bad, knowing every strength and weakness about you while loving and encouraging you through it all. Jesus Our Savior knows each of us born on this earth intimately because we have been created in God, His Father’s image. Jesus has an all encompassing love for every member of humanity, no exceptions.
As His friend, I am compelled to praise Jesus and lift Him up in glory because He is the Son of God. Jesus is with us in all things; in the midst of suffering, conflict, illness, and war. He rejoices and celebrates each birth, graduation, wedding, big and small success. He is with us in all instances and situations of life.
We are all part of the body of Christ Jesus. We are united in His everlasting, unconditional love.
That being said, before you open the next tweet, text, link, IM, image or your mouth in conversation, take a moment, a second or a deep breath and try to remember the connectedness and friendship Jesus has for the other. Breathe in the love, patience and understanding He has for you. Be open to listening to or seeing through another loved one’s perspective for just a moment. Keep in mind that love bears all things. It isn’t always easy. Strive to be a friend united in love. You can do it. Jesus is with you, now and forever. Amen.
Feature Image Credit: sasint, https://pixabay.com/photos/sunset-men-silhouettes-helping-1807524