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NEW COMMANDMENT: LOVE ONE ANOTHER!

Read­ing Time: 2 minutes

Introduction

The ref­er­ence to the glor­i­fic­a­tion of God in Jesus Christ echoes the text of Isai­ah 49:3. The glor­i­fic­a­tion of Jesus is strictly tied to his death and resur­rec­tion. What Jesus does to his dis­ciples is like a farewell speech. By glor­i­fy­ing God with his death and leav­ing or giv­ing his dis­ciples new com­mand­ment, Jesus bids his dis­ciples farewell. Jesus speaks before his death and resur­rec­tion. In oth­er words, this teach­ing on lov­ing one anoth­er is giv­en at the Last Supper. 

Jesus said to his dis­ciples “I give you a new com­mand­ment, that you love one anoth­er. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one anoth­er” (John 13:34). Such com­mand was giv­en imme­di­ately after Judas Iscari­ot left to execute his hid­den agenda. Love must be the dis­tin­guish­ing mark of Jesus’ dis­ciples, and nat­ur­ally, of Chris­ti­ans. Jesus’ “new com­mand” takes its point of depar­ture from the Mosa­ic com­mands to love the Lord with all one’s might and to love one’s neigh­bour as one­self (Lev 19:18; cf. Deut 6:5; Mark 12:28–33).

The new commandment

I give you a new com­mand­ment…” (John 13:34). Why is this com­mand­ment new? And what makes it new? To under­stand more Jesus’s reas­on for describ­ing the com­mand­ment to love one anoth­er as new, we need to re-read his words in Mat­thew 5:43–48 – “You have heard that it was said, you shall love your neigh­bour and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who per­se­cute you, so that you may be chil­dren of your Fath­er in heav­en; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the right­eous and on the unright­eous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax col­lect­ors do the same?” (Matt 5:43–46). In Levit­i­c­us, the Israel­ites were presen­ted with this order: “You shall not take ven­geance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neigh­bour as your­self: I am the Lord (Lev 19:18. Cf. Jas 2:8). Jesus’ words in Mat­thew is a cor­rec­tion of the text of Levit­i­c­us. While the Levit­i­c­us com­mand was for Jews to love their fel­low Jews alone, Jesus makes it uni­ver­sal by tak­ing it bey­ond the Jew­ish bound­ary. It is God’s plan to open the door of faith to all (cf. First Reading).

Conclusion

I give you a new com­mand­ment, that you love one anoth­er. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one anoth­er.” These words should be taken ser­i­ous by every Chris­ti­an and by every per­son. The instruc­tion to love one anoth­er was meant to pro­mote and facil­it­ate the pro­clam­a­tion of the Gos­pel. On the oth­er hand, it was meant to cor­rect the exclus­ive­ness of the love of God as taught in the Torah. Jesus’ com­mand to love one anoth­er means we should lib­er­ate ourselves from our men­tal obscur­ity. We should view and eval­u­ate things from their prop­er per­spect­ive. How do we love one another?

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPIES OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE:
SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I‑II-III)!! The reflec­tion for the Fifth Sunday of Pascha © is found in
vol. III pages 250–258. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo
or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com
or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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