It is our love for others that keeps the great love of Jesus for people alive in our world today. An American journalist, watching Mother Teresa caring for a man with gangrene, remarked to her, “I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars.”
Mother Teresa replied, “Neither would I do it for that amount, but I do it for love of God.” That should be our motivation.
Let’s face it.
Loving our neighbor can be difficult and demanding. In the face of Islamic terrorism, or in time of war, we are strongly tempted to dehumanize the enemy and regard them as not part of the human family, and unworthy of our love and respect. Still, Jesus’ commandment to love, and his own example of forgiving those who crucified him, constantly call us to reconsider things and seek reconciliation rather than total victory.
It is only when we work with God’s grace that we can truly love others unconditionally. It is only by living every day close to Jesus that we can love as Jesus loved. If we do not, we will be relying only on our human efforts alone, and we will love with another type of love but not the unconditional love Jesus asked for when he said, “I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you.”
Love always demands the best from us, and brings out the best in us. Being loved gives us a surprising energy and courage. Love makes us fruitful, productive, strong and constant in doing good. Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, famous for her work on the stages of dying, has written, “Love is the flame that warms our soul, energizes our spirit and supplies passion to our lives. It’s our connection to God and to one another.”
Freedom from selfishness and freedom to love and care for others, that’s what life is all about! That’s the only way. So Jesus strongly insists, “Love one another, as I have loved you.”