Love for our Neighbors


May 19, 2017
5th Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 15:22–31
Gospel: Jn 15:12–17

Jesus said to his disciples, “This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friends; and you are my friends if you do what I command you. I shall not call you servants any more, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learned from my Father. You did not choose me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. “This is my command, that you love one another.”

(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

Christ’s commandment of love widens the scope of our responsibility towards others. When we hear him say “love one another as I have loved you”, we understand that he wants us to love like God loving useless creatures. Can anyone comply with this commandment without becoming god himself?

Let’s admit it: there are people, even within family circles, who are difficult to love. Blood may indeed be thicker than water, but adrenalin rush can alter blood pressure anytime. Has grudge always shown respect for consanguinity? Hatred is no respecter of relationships and it has brought down many powerful clans, shattered many families and made bitter enemies out of bosom friends.  It is easier to train old dogs new tricks than to teach a hardened heart the art of love.

But thank God the heart need not always have the last say. That the head is above the chest suggests that being human is about brain cells over ventricles, telepathy over palpitations, mind over matter, and will over the caprice of the heart. When we decide to love even as our hearts clamor with hatred we become more human because that is how human beings are meant to conduct their affairs.

The decision to love is enough to establish our good motives. Motive takes the backseat in criminal investigations because courts will always be reluctant to pierce the veil of man’s inner sanctum. This inner sanctuary is best reserved for the person and his God. The contrary is true in God’s appreciation of our acts. Aware all the time of the scars our souls still bear from the wounds of sin God understands that we can fall anytime. That is why motive already delights God. Where there is motive to love, God rushes to the aid of that well-motivated person.

Admittedly the commandment of love is wider than we can embrace. But if God is by our side we need not worry. After all, love is not wider than our God. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.

May comment ka ba sa column ni Father Dan? May tanong ka ba sa kanya?
I-type ang BANDERA REACT <message/ name/age/address> at i-send sa 4467.

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Bandera. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate: c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94