Our faith can be expressed, manifested and shared in many different ways. Sometimes the ways we express our beliefs cause others to reject them because they disagree with us. Even the way we worship can create conflicts among us. However, there is one teaching of our faith on which all agree; indeed, it unites us. It is Jesus’ invitation to us today: Love one another.
In history of the world, people have been divided by the way we show ourselves to be disciples of the Lord. We are all united – or at lease we should be united – in the love we have for others. According to today’s Gospel, this is the way we will show that we are the Lord’s disciples.
To be a disciple of Christ can be demonstrated by the words we say as we hand on the message that Jesus taught long ago, and even when we really believe His words, and words are powerful, that is not how we effectively imitate Jesus.
To be disciples means to follow Jesus, yet not in the way His first disciples did, for they were literally able to walk with Him. But for us, following the Lord has a deeper meaning; we imitate His life. It is precisely in this that each of us is transformed into a new person. This imitation of Jesus should touch every part of our lives, and it should especially affect our relationships with others, relationships rooted in love, love that is like the love of Jesus.
Love makes the object of love dwell in us, and we are transformed. Love of another begins with the presence of Jesus in our lives because of our love for Him. This love is experienced not only in a loving relationship with Jesus, but it radiates into loving our brothers and sisters.
Nevertheless, the love of others that Jesus mentions as the sign of discipleship is not just any kind of love, but a love equal to the love that Jesus has for us: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another…”. Ours, then, is a love that is eager to give everything, including our own lives, for those we love.
After we reflect on this kind of love, one thing remains; we ask ourselves this question: When people look at us, will they know that we are His disciples????