This I command you, to love one another.

John 15:17

Friday, 15 May 2020

Acts 15:22-31; Psalm 57:8-12; John 15:12-17

The word “love” has various meanings for all of us. When asked to define what love is, we do so according to our experiences and to how it feels to us when we love another person. It is experienced in the feeling of joy we get when the other, the one we love is happy.

As parents, we learn to love our children with or without their flaws. Siblings love one another even when they fight. As neighbours, we learn to love one another by respecting each other. As a community, we learn to live in harmony when we put our differences aside and embrace one another.

The world experienced this true, selfless and unconditional love when Jesus laid down his life for us.

Fr Laurence Freeman OSB, in his talk Aspects of Love, describes love as “our true nature and the direction of our development. It is the directions in which we must always be growing.” However, as I walk the streets today, I have to ask myself where this love that we all claim to have is? Is it reserved for those close to us? Are we afraid to grow?

We have become complacent and have forgotten to love those around us because we do not consider them family or friends. Too often we place restrictions or terms and conditions on our love.

What am I prepared to do to show love to those around me and those I meet wherever I go? How can my love positively influence others? And how do I love others as Jesus loved?

Lord God,

today I pray that you teach me to love, care and understand others.

Grant me compassion for those in need.

Make me fearless in my love for the other.



Ms Nonto Thulile Mhlongo

Nonto Mhlongo works at the St Lucia Retreat and Training Centre giving retreats. She has completed the spiritual direction training programme with the Jesuit Institute.
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