Listening to the voice of Jesus, we hear the command, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Doesn’t it sound simple? All we have to do is love. That becomes the problem. We are so tempted to use the word love inappropriately. It becomes connected only to feeling; it encompasses inanimate and animate objects. We love anything and everything without understanding the demands that involves.
Love means sacrifice, love means empathy and compassion for others, love means understanding people who think differently than we do and often love means removing ourselves from the center of life and letting others occupy that space. Love is the ability to understand that we are part of a community including the earth and others who might find the divine in a myriad of ways. Love is about forgiveness and healing.
If we look to the person of Jesus who revealed God as loving and compassionate, we find the Son of God washing the feet of his disciples even Judas. We find a God who was willing to lay down his life for all of humanity. He brought salvation and redemption. If we follow him, the challenge to love can be difficult and complex.