"Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it. This is why Christ the Redeemer 'fully reveals man to himself.'" – Pope Saint John Paul II: born Karol Józef Wojtyła served as Pope from 1978 to 2005.
Gospel Text: (JN 15:12-17)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”
There are different types of love but there is no confusion in the language of the New Testament. When Jesus speaks about love it is always a special type of love, unselfish love, loving the other for the other’s sake without anything in it for oneself.
Of course there are difficult situations where it is very demanding to love our neighbor as ourselves and our neighbor may be a family member, someone who lives near us, or who works with us. These are a few little helpful hints to love our neighbor. Remember Jesus died for that person; imagine that person beneath Jesus dying on the cross. Imagine that person as an infant in the arms of Jesus.
We receive the grace of the sacraments to help us love our neighbor as ourselves when a priest celebrates the sacraments for us. We need priests to give us the sacraments. It is only with the grace of God that we love our neighbor as ourselves in this new way. It is only by living every day with Jesus that we can love our neighbor as ourselves.