LOVE IS A CARING COMMITMENT
WEDNESDAY, 6th January 2021, CHRISTMASTIDE 1 Jn 4:11-18; Ps 72:1-2,10-13; Mk 6:45-52
A woman was surprised at church when another woman, who had often dishonoured her, went out of her way to give her a warm hug before the service. She wondered what had brought about this change. She got her answer at the end of the service when the priest instructed, “Your assignment for next week is the same as last week. I want you to go out there and love somebody you just can’t stand.” If loving others was only as easy as giving a hug to someone we don’t like, we would all excel in love. Just hug them and move on! But love is a bit more difficult than that. Because, loving others is putting the other person ahead of you, and that is always a huge battle. Our natural tendency is to revert to selfishness, not to love.
For this reason, the New Testament as a whole, and the apostle John in particular, never tires of exhorting us to love. Like driving a nail into a board, John hits on this commandment again and again. Five times in his first letter, he reminds us of Jesus’ command to love one another (1 Jn 3:11,23; 4:7,11,12). In fact, he says that if you do not love others, you do not know God.
What does it mean to love? Biblical love is a self-sacrificing, caring commitment that seeks the highest good of the one loved. At its heart, love is a commitment that is not without feeling; it is a caring commitment. In other words, biblical love involves delight, not just duty. Also, this caring commitment is not just an attitude, but an action; it shows itself in deeds. Those deeds often require self-sacrifice, seen supremely in Jesus’ death on the cross. The goal of this commitment is the highest good of the one loved. Let us look at Jesus our master and ask his grace to imitate him in love. For, he loved us even at the cost of giving up his life on the cross.
Responsorial Psalm: All nations on earth shall fall prostrate before you, O Lord.
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