Jesus expects that his followers will imitate his example of love: love one another just as he has loved us. He wants that the virtue of love will be the distinctive remark of his followers. But is it the distinctive mark?
I am not saying that Jesus does not demand love. I am asking if we, Christians are really making love as our distinctive mark. Along the years many made love their
badge and gave their life for their love of God or for their love of neighbor. But are all Christians fulfilling the demand of Jesus?
To love is to put oneself in a very vulnerable position. We need to love even if our love is not reciprocated. We need to love even those who hate us. We need to love unconditionally. We need to love without expecting anything in return. We need to love also our enemies. We need to love continuously and always and everyone.
Jesus showed us the highest grade of love. He did not die for us when we were already friends with him, but he died for us when we were still unfriendly with him so that we will become friends. He paid the ultimate price on our behalf.
We all know the qualities of the love with which Jesus Loves us, and that we must have for Him and for one another. We can find them in Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. Today I invite you to re-read what is referred to as: The Hymn of Love, and open your heart to let in this type of love:
“If I could speak all the human and angelic tongues, but had no love, I would only be sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
If I had prophecy, knowing secret things with all kinds of knowledge, and had faith great enough to remove mountains, but had no love, I would be nothing.
If I gave everything I had to the poor, and even gave up my own body, but only to receive praise and not through love, it would be of no value to me.
Love is patient, love is kind, love is not envious or boastful or arrogant. Love is not ill-mannered nor does it seek its own interest.
Love overcomes anger and forgets offenses.
Love does not take delight in wrong, but rejoices in truth.
Love excuses everything, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love will never end.
Prophecies may cease, tongues be silent and knowledge disappear…
Now we have faith, hope and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.” (1Cor 13: 1-8, 13)
Let us be honest: if we were to replace the word love with our name, would this passage be still truthful?