"I give you a new commandment: Love one another. Such as My love has been for you, so must your love be for each other. This is how all will know you for My disciples: by your love for one another." —John 13:34-35
All will know that we are disciples of the risen Christ because of the new way in which we love one another. For hundreds of years before Jesus' coming, the Jewish people tried to love their neighbors as themselves (Lv 19:18). There were three problems with this command:
They didn't have the power to do it.
They considered only their fellow Jews to be their neighbors.
They didn't always love themselves.
Jesus made this old commandment new (1 Jn 2:8) by:
giving us a new nature capable of love in a new way,
making it clear that everyone is our neighbor (Lk 10:29ff), and
commanding us to love as He loved us (Jn 13:34; see also Jn 15:12) and not only as we love ourselves.
Jesus is God, and God is Love (1 Jn 4:16). Love has made it possible for us to love. Therefore live in Love and in love, and you will live in God and God in you (1 Jn 4:16; Jn 15:9).
Nihil obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 9, 2000
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2000
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