“Love one another”

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Jesus new commandment, as stated in this morning’s gospel, is one with which
we are all familiar; “love one another as I have loved you”. I have heard
people say that Jesus replaced the 10 commandments with two, love God and
love your neighbour. Recently I heard someone say that he finally replaced
the two with the one mentioned above. I’m not sure about that but it is an
interesting thought.

“Love one another” is indeed a great principle by which to live life. Even
non-christians quote it and will say they seek to live by its intention. Not
just non-christians either as many other faiths, it  seems to me, uphold
this principle. There is a difference though, between the way Christians and
others view this principle. Non-believers and other faiths see this
principle as  being “nice” or “kind” to one another, that we seek not to
hurt others and look after them. I have no argument with this.

However, as usual, Jesus goes even further in the way he wants us to “love
one another”. He adds the rider “as I have loved you”. He loved us so much
that he was willing to lay down his life for us. It means that we too must
be willing to sacrifice what ever is required for the betterment of someone
else. We are called not just be kind and caring of others but if necessary
give up things for others. Jesus goes on to say, “Greater love has no-one
than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”.

As we come off celebrations of Anzac Day and the centenaries of
Villers-Bretonneux, and the victories at Hamel, and other battles at the end
of the First World War, we have been reminded of the sacrifice others have
made. In light of these reminders, how willing are we to go the extra mile”
and love one another as Jesus loved us?

Tony Wicking

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