8 May 2015
Sometimes the message of the Lord is very clear. And today is one of those times. Jesus has been saying the same thing to his disciples since day one: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”
And being made in the image of God as we are—God who is love itself, Jesus commands us in a sense to become who we’re made to be. We’re made to love. We’re not made to hate one another; we’re not made to be jealous or self-pitying or anything like that. We’re made to love. And so Jesus commands us to be fully human, fully alive.
The Incarnate Word is trying to “speak” us into being, just like God commanded that there be light, and there was light. Jesus is trying to recreate us and reshape us, if only we wouldn’t listen. And, for the most part, we do. And what we hear the Lord say is: “Here, do it this way. Love one another as I love you. Just follow my lead.” He not only commands us to become the creatures of God we’re made to be; he also gives us a Flesh-and-Blood example of how to love.
Of course, following his lead—or anybody’s lead—takes trust. Jesus calls us “friends” not because we comply with his demands, but because we trust him. We trust him enough to follow his example. We trust that what he says is true and good. It is good for us to love one another as Christ loves us. And it is true that self-giving love is what and who we are created to be.
The message of the Lord is very clear today because we know in our hearts that it is entirely good and true. The next best thing to knowing this is to live it. And so, Jesus issues a command in the hopes that we will trust him and follow him: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”