FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
LOVING ONE ANOTHER
LOVING AS GOD LOVES
August 9, 2015
Today’s reading: Ephesians 4:30-5:2
We are called to the New Evangelization as the universal Church and as parishes and Christian communities. The work of the New Evangelization can only be effectively accomplished if we move forward as one, in unity and peace. We after all are spreading the love of Christ, and so we need to love one another first and foremost.
Unfortunately, the Church, religious congregations and lay communities are oftentimes wracked by strife, disunity, division and even splits and schisms. Such is a poor testament to the work of God in us who have experienced the salvation of Jesus, who have been given the Holy Spirit, and who are destined for heaven. Such grieves God. “And do not grieve the holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (v.4:30).
What then are we to do? There are those things to be avoided, and those things to be nurtured. “All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice.” (v.4:31). These are the things that we do to each other. Such have no place in a person who manifests the love of God. We are to love God and our neighbor and brethren.
How can we avoid such things that come from our sinful flesh? We look to God and His abundant grace poured out upon us. As such, let us “be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.” (v.4:32). We look not to our brother who might be hard to love, but to Jesus who loved us even when we were sinners. We also realize that God’s forgiveness is conditioned on our forgiving others.
Now to love others, especially those hard to love, is difficult. Indeed. But the call to do so is a manifestation of God’s love for us, in that He wants to raise us to holiness in our imitation of His ways. “So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.” (v.5:1-2). Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice. In our loving those hard to love, we too are called to be self-sacrificial. Only then can we become a fragrant offering to God.
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