Sunday, May 10, 2015

Love One Another

Originally published May 17, 2009

Sixth Sunday of Easter

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, S.J.

“Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people, who have received the holy Spirit even as we have?” He ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Acts 10:47-48

In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

This I command you: love one another. John 15:17

“No one can give a greater proof of his love than by laying down his life for his friends.” Piety is love given. Our Spirituality is seen in how we give our life to Christ. It opens our hearts to the radical transplant. We take Christ’s heart for our own. Spirituality is our love affair with God through Christ. We accept his life for our own. We put on the mind and the heart of Christ. God loves us so much that he is willing to be one of us in his son. God gives us his love in the death of Christ. Christ gives us a new definition of love in his willingness to die for any one of us and for all of us. How much oneness am I willing to have with Christ?

There are many opportunities in our lives to find Christ. I can study the lives of past saints to understand how they made Christ real to their time. But I need to study the lives of the good people I know today find and realize what Christ would look like today. The People of God are the Church and the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. There is something of Christ in each of us, but all the more in our togetherness. How we share our lives in Christ comes out of the books we read and the sermons we listen to. We can never get enough of Christ. He is all the old. But he is even more realistically alive in the new. How to incorporate Christ into what we do today is the work of today’s prophets who go before the crowd to show the way in the differences they live out in their Christ connection.

If I could give as much glory to God with a long life as with a short life would I choose the short life to be more like him. Christ emptied himself out of his “God-ness” to be one of us. No greater giving away of self is possible. Christ loves us even as the Father had loved him. Am I willing to love Christ even as he has loved me? The question is not an easy one to answer because the strongest drive in life is to hold unto life. Christ gives us the human expression of the mystery of God. How much Christ I live in my life is seen in how I live my life in his name. If I could give as much glory to God with the short life as the long life, would I really choose the short life to be more like him? Love goes toward complete oneness of mind, heart and soul. I can have as much love of God as I have Christ as the fullness of my life. It is not just the fact that we are created in the image and the likeness of God. We feed on Christ and are taken into his life every time we communicate. Christ not only feeds us with his life. He takes us into his life. He gives us his life. He makes us one with him so that we could say with Paul. “Now I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Our study gives way to action.

Being part of the crowd is too easy. Real action can get us into trouble as we reach out to the problems of life with the love of our hearts. Love can get us into trouble by our going where only fools seem to tread. If I could give as much glory to God by honor or dishonor, would I choose dishonor to be more like the Christ who carries the dishonor of the Cross. Am I willing to defend those who have no friends? Am I willing to go into danger for the sake of the weak and the helpless? How closely am I willing to be identified with the marginalized of life? Christ calls us friends because he is willing to tell us everything we need to know to belong to him lock, stock and barrel. Those that love Christ will keep the commandments. They will love everyone in their lives with a love that will make it hard to know who they most love. They will live their lives giving their lives for each one who needs them. They will not count the cost or heed the wounds that hinder how they serve the Christ of each other. The claim to fame in heaven will be what we have suffered in the name of our willingness to be Christ to each other. Our work of life is in the challenge to love each person as Christ.

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