May 15, 2022 – 5th Sunday of Easter
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/051522.cfm)
Whenever we are asked with the question: “How’s your lovelife?” most of the time we find ourselves with an awkward smile, pondering whether we have someone loving us and/or have someone we are loving now. But over and above the person – subject and object of our love, “How’s your lovelife?” posts a deepest inquiry about our life of love and loving others. It asks us personally: “Have I been loving others, and have I been loved by others lately? Have I been loveable – able to love and beloved by others?” Meaning, beyond the answer of having or not having someone is the challenge of our being and having love at all in life.
Jesus in our gospel today once again reminded us of His commandment: to love one another, as He has loved us. More than just having someone, Jesus is challenging us here to have a love life – i.e. to lead and live our lives of love with others. He also reveals us that by our lovelife with others we glorify God in Jesus and we are known by others to be His disciples. Loving one another then is our way of loving God and of being loved by God in Christ. And above all our love life with others should be Christ-like, that is the same way as He loved us. Here Jesus offers and calling us to practice Love as patterned in His way of living-life of love with us and others.
Reflecting on our Christian life as being beloved by God in Jesus, modern-day psycho-spiritual director Henri Nouwen in his book: “Life of the Beloved” gave us a glimpse on Jesus way of loving us, i.e. On how are we to love others like Jesus. Nouwen pointed out that Christ-like lovelife consists of four elements. First, loving others like Jesus must be a chosen and committed life. Our love then is never just a consequence but a choice and commitment-we made for life. Second, Christ-like love of others must be Blessed and Sanctified. Our love must not be limited to our human ways but be offered and made holy and sacred in God ways. (Ipinasa-Dios). Third, to love others like Christ is also to be broken, formed and transformed by our love of others. Our chosen and blessed love then is meant not only for its own sake but to make us to be better version of ourselves and of others person. And above all, Christ-like love must not be exclusive but be shared to grow and unite with others.
Like the Bread in the Eucharist (bread-chosen, bread-blessed, bread-broken/transformed, and bread-shared), simply put, “To love one another as Jesus loved us” is to lead a life of love being-chosen and committed, of love being-blessed, of love being-broken and transformed, and of love being-shared with others. This is Jesus way of loving us, and we are commanded to do the same, as He said to us: “I give you a new commandment, love one another as I have loved you.”
Perhaps we ask ourselves now: “How’s my lovelife? Have I love others as Jesus loves me? Have I been loveable – able to love and beloved by others? Is my love like that of Jesus (love-chosen, blessed, broken and shared)? What areas of my lovelife is still lacking and needs improvement? How should I grow better in my lovelife and Christian life?”
Remember: By our love, we glorify God in Christ and we are known by others as Christian.
We pray that we may never lose sight but be rather committed in our Christ-like lovelife, “Loving one another like Jesus” as our way to God’s love and salvation. Amen.