Last month, we introduced the “art of loving.” This month let us go deeper in reflecting on the new commandment of mutual love. Jesus said: “This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:12-13).
Jesus spells out the measure in loving our neighbor, His measure. We have to love and be ready to lay down our life as Jesus did it for us, to the point of feeling abandoned by the Father on the cross. This means we have to love without putting limits.
According to Chiara Lubich we should base our lives on constant and mutual love, ready to die for one another. She suggests that before going to Mass or receiving Holy Communion, we should ask ourselves, “Are we ready to die for one another?”
Our love for God and neighbor can’t just be personal. It can only reach its fullness when it becomes mutual, or reciprocal. Father Pasquale Foresi explains, “Jesus wants reciprocal love to be a fundamental aspect of our Christian love… We need to shift our way of thinking of going personally and alone to God. We have to love to the extent that it becomes reciprocal.”
Recently, our Finance Officer’s sister died in Mindoro and with the lockdown due to Covid-19 she could not get back to the office. The check to pay the professional fees of a consultant was not deposited. She informed Romy, our admin officer.
The consultant urgently needed her fees in order to bring her husband who was very sick to the hospital. Romy, aware of the urgency, immediately withdrew money from his personal bank account and deposited it to the consultant’s bank account. Hearing this, my son, who leads the company, withdrew money to return and replenish Romy’s funds. As a company owner, I thanked God for the mutual love among us.
In addition to assisting others in their physical and material needs, let us also exchange spiritual gifts. St. Lawrence Giustiniani said, “Nothing in the world renders more praise to God… than the humble and fraternal exchange of spiritual gifts…the divine gifts we have received, especially the gifts that can help others along the way of perfection.”
Our love for one another should be a love which is patient and kind; it should be a love that does not seek its own interest but bears all things, hopes all things and endures all things. Let us love one another as Jesus loved us.