The Christian life is about realizing that God loves us and living in this relationship. It is about being intentional about a deepening relationship with the God in whom we live and have our being. Realizing that God is the One from whom all things have come, we begin to realize our connection with all others. Love and the desire to relate to all others in love become stronger than the fears and aversions that shape our attitudes and actions. We do not have an emotional love for all our “neighbors”, but we have a deep concern for their well-being, a desire that they be treated with justice and a respect for them, human and non-human, born of a realization of our relationship in the One who holds us in union. We long for a transformed people on a transformed earth filled with the Presence of God. We begin to see with the eyes of Jesus.
Let us love one another as You have loved us.
What is Jesus saying here? How have I interpreted that?
Reflect on how the Christian life can transform us into more compassionate and just persons.
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.
They that love not, do not know God; for God is love.
Through our love for our neighbor we can get to know God, who is love. Only through loving can we reach love.
I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least.
Love seeks one thing only: the good of the one loved. It leaves all the other secondary effects to take care of themselves. Love, therefore, is its own reward.
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.
He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor.
If we are to use our tools in the service of fitting in on Earth, our basic relationship to nature–even the story we tell ourselves about who we are in the universe–has to change.
Janine M. Benyus