“Love One Another”

By: Leo Aliaga, Fiat Ventures

Fifth Sunday of Easter

When I think about the time of year to reflect on love, I usually think about Valentine’s Day in February, not necessarily the middle of the Easter Season. Though hey, maybe we’ve just stumbled upon a million dollar idea: egg-shaped candy “hearts”. They could have little messages like “He is Rizn” or instead of “Be mine” – “Be Hiz”. Maybe not a million dollar idea. A thousand? A hundred? Come on it’s worth at least twenty bucks.  <Leo heads to kickstarter.com>.

But really, the Easter Season is the perfect time of year to celebrate and reflect on what it means to love. In this week’s Gospel, Jesus gives us a new commandment, “Love one another.” Odd timing for a teaching on love right before he’s about to give his life for us on the cross, isn’t it? Or maybe not. The Cross is the perfect example to go along with this new commandment. He tells us to love one another as he loves us; and how does he love us? By laying down his life for us, holding nothing back he gives everything in self-sacrifice. That’s true love. 

We live in the world where there is lack of love. Just look at the reactions of people when they get cut off on the road. What is the reaction when someone gets offended? Do we respond more with pride or with love? Jesus invites his disciples to love each other because it is also how the Church would stay together. Imagine if the Apostles decided to turn on each other and not stayed unified? The example of love that Jesus gives on Holy Thursday is washing of the feet, instituting the Eucharist and beginning his Passion.

St. Teresa of Calcutta is often attributed with saying if you want to change the world, go home and love your family. It is easy to be annoyed or resentful towards the people we are always with because it just becomes easier to see their mistakes. We all make mistakes. But we need to love the way Jesus loved and continues to love us. If we always put others before ourselves, we’ll naturally grow in love.

God’s love is unconditional and merciful because God will always love us no matter what. If we are sorry, each time God takes us back into his arms. That is what confession does. God’s love has no limits and it always goes the extra mile. Our love is conditional because of our human limitations.  Whether it is to laziness or actually being hurt profoundly, we need God’s love in order to increase our love.

Who do you need to forgive? Ask God for help. When is the last time you told your mother, father or sibling “I love you”? You can do that today. Who around you needs more love? Make time for that. So simple yet the world is in dire need of it. Love everyone around you no matter what, laying down your life for others, and ask for God’s help!

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