Love is most probably the word which is most used and sung about. Today, Jesus tells us to love one another. However, Jesus qualifies the type of love we need to show. We are to love, in the same way he loved. Jesus’ love for us, led him to give his life for us and he died on the cross. Jesus gave us all that he had. Moreover, Jesus loves everyone. Jesus’ love is not based on conditions. It is selfless and it is founded on service. His love shows us in a visible way, God’s love.
Love is a daily challenge, especially when we are to love someone who according to us is undeserving. The love Jesus wishes us to show, is not based on feelings. We show love in the way we behave; we show love in our actions. Love requires sacrifice.
What Jesus is asking, goes against our nature. We love those who love us. Instinct tells us to get back at those who hurt us. We can only do what Jesus is asking from us, with his help. It is impossible to do it on our own. We need to trust him more. We need to regularly participate in the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Confession. These give us the help we need. The Holy Spirit that we received in Baptism and Confirmation, is the Spirit which Jesus gives us so that we can be united with Him and the Father and be capable to love as He did. The Holy Spirit gives us courage and the strength to go against the dictates of the world and live according to God’s will.
The Gospel starts with a reference to Judas. Judas is the one who let greed blind him. Instead of love he showed hatred. He repaid Jesus’ love with betrayal. Imagine what Jesus felt when he saw Judas leave! Jesus knew what he was going to do. Instead of using words of loathing, Jesus spoke to the apostles about love. Even during that moment, when someone who lived with him, betrayed him, Jesus showed us what it means to love. Let us pray that we do not allow temptations to darken our way and lead us away from the love God is offering us.