Gospel: John 13: 31-33a,34-35 Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible.
33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You shall seek me;…Whither I go you cannot come; so I say to you now.
34 A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35 By this shall all know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.
Did God ask that we love only those like ourselves? Or to love only those who follow Christ? Did Jesus teach a love that excludes any who do not follow Him, or are the wrong color, or have different customs, or live in another country? There are some calling us to love only the right kind of people, we are asked to fear those different from us, we are asked to build walls. How can we justify a wall in Christ’s name? The One who came to tear down walls, to teach universal love for all God’s creatures. Indeed, Christ is teaching us that we are only his disciples if we have love for one another.
Can anyone truly say they are followers of Christ without keeping this new commandment? And each day, we are called to reflect on how we have loved that day, have we embraced all people in our hearts. To exclude others is a human trait, to strive each day to be inclusive in our love, is to follow the yearnings of our heart to be disciples of Christ.