“Love one another” (John 13:34)

May 11, 2023

The most powerful and wonderful feeling in the history of mankind is ‘Love.’ It is the reason for our existence since without it, we shall not survive life on earth. Humans are to love one another for it is the command of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is written in the gospel of Saint John as, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Our Lord died for us upon the cross bearing all the anguish and pain for His love. It is what brought Him to this world from His throne and glory in the heavens. He became human when He is God; was seen in flesh when He is invisible and was embarrassed here when He is glorified in the Heavens. He did all this for His love of humans.

Love then is what gives us life and the base of our salvation. It has the power to defeat enemies in any form of spirit because God is Love and He loves His children. So we shall love ourselves and others just we as same. The word of God says “Love your neighbors as yourself.” (Mark 12:31)

Father Philip Le Masters in his homily said, “Though we may not yet have the eyes to see it, our entire life in the Church and every bit of our life in the world as Christians presents an opportunity to grow in holiness through the love of God and neighbor.  Indeed, that’s the point of it all:  of our services, our prayers at home, our fasting, our feasting, our generosity to the poor, our forgiveness of others, our marriages and family life, our recreation, and all our work on the job or at school.  They are all part of fulfilling our most fundamental calling:  to grow in the likeness of God, to become partakers of the Divine Nature, to grow in loving union with the Holy Trinity and with one another.”  (Homily Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America )

The origin of love is God and so we shall love him with all our hearts and life.  The Apostle Saint Mark has said, “…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:30) To love God is to give our heart, soul and life by obeying His command and living under His rule. As the law above all is Love, we shall love our neighbors as much as ourselves.

Father Philp explains this as, “If we want to love our neighbors as ourselves, we never have to look far at all.  Every person whom we meet is a living icon of Christ and is called to life eternal. No matter the circumstance, whenever we put someone else’s interest above our own, whenever we are generous with our time, our attention, or our resources, whenever we help someone in any way, we serve Christ and grow at least a bit in the divine likeness.  No matter our age, gender, occupation, or circumstances, we all have the opportunity each day to love our neighbors as ourselves and Christ in our neighbors.”

Unfortunate to this generation though, that our heart is filled with hate for other being just as same as us for unworthy and invaluable things of worldly pleasure. People hate one another just for the personal benefit and do harm on them without any sympathy. They curse others for no reason of blame and fault. To make matters worse, we are facing social, economic and political crises that necessities quick resolution. The pandemic disease, the famine and drought more over the tribal war has made many loss hope. This being the rage of God proven upon earth, we are surrounded by severe tribulations in misery, worry and anxiety.

What is expected of us is repentance though we refuse to accept asking forgiveness of our Lord. People complain about their miserable life without realizing and accepting our sin that brought all the predicaments in life and rage of God. It is our responsibility to know our mistakes and wrongs for we shall be wright with repentance. The first rule we need to remember is about love since it what drives us to know our Lord and obey His rule. If we love Him with all our heart, soul and life, we obey His command without any hesitation surrendering for Him entirely.

Moreover, as He loves all His children and wills our salvation and our loving one another pleases Him, we shall be able to Love our Neighbors as much as ourselves. We shall share others sorrow and happiness with all our heart. It through this unity that we build our social and Christian life.  Our Love for one another helps resolve our problems and pass all hardships on earthly life.

Dear brethren, love is the most remarkable gift of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so cherish it!  Let it in your heart and see its wonderfulness. Though we might assume love is just a good feeling in our heart, it is also pain that we suffer for beloved ones. It is to bear agony and afflict for the sake of others safety. When we love we become good; when we love, we care; when we love, we give our all, without expecting any reward.  This is why our Patristic Fathers at Church teaches us that love if to give but not only just to receive. The harmony of our Christianity is formed within this unity and thus we must always live by it.

May God help us to live in love, Amen!