I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
Jesus calls for ideal behavior that is beyond the usual norms. If inclusive love of neighbor were really internalized, it could shape our fundamental outlook on our world. We would see all people as neighbors within the sphere of God’s love. Love would not be reduced to a feeling, but it would become a chosen attitude toward even our enemies. It does not mean we would have to like everyone but that we would be willing to respond to their needs. It would increase compassion and build understanding. What an amazing difference it would make in our polarized society if all those who loudly profess to believe in and follow Jesus took it seriously.
Love one another as I have loved you.
Who are those outside the circle of your love? What would commitment to their needs require of you? Who are in the circle of your love? Do you have this sort of commitment to them?
A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all people know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
1 John 4:11
Through our love for our neighbor, we can get to know God, who is love. Only through loving can we reach love.
He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor.
What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.
St. Augustine of Hippo
What is the mark of love for your neighbor? Not to seek what is for your own benefit, but what is for the benefit of the one loved, both in body and in soul.
St. Basil the Great
We can cure physical diseases with medicine but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
As for what concerns our relations with our fellow men, the anguish in our neighbor’s soul must break all precept. All that we do is a means to an end, but love is an end in itself, because God is love.
To love our neighbor as ourselves is such a truth for regulating human society, that by that alone one might determine all the cases in social morality.
In the Spirit which draws us into honest engagement with one another, including those who may be very different from us in various ways, God calls us to wake up and learn how to love and respect one another, period.
It is not warm feelings that Jesus is demanding of us. It is stubborn, unwavering commitment. To love one another doesn’t mean we must feel affection for them. It means a commitment on our part to take their needs seriously. This doesn’t come naturally.
The efforts spent on defending our turf in the culture wars could be better served on loving our neighbor as ourselves.