Daily Office Readings for Thursday of the 2nd Week of Easter: Year 2
Morning, Psalm 18:1 to 20; Evening, Psalm 18: 21 to 50;
Exodus 16:10-22; 1st Peter 2:11 to 25; John 15:12 to 27:
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15: 12)
I really like this “John” rendition of the love commandment better than the one in the Synoptic Gospels where it is said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” The presupposition is that you love yourself. I have met people who do not love themselves. How then can they be expected to love others?
I am not trying to promote narcissism here but a great many people need to know that they are loved by God and to suggest that God can’t act in them is not saying they are not good enough, but that God, in all God’s unlimited ability, is not able to act in them. Balderdash! God can, and will, use any person to do God’s will. We are definitely commanded to love ourselves as part of the commandment to love. But just in case we don’t get it, St. John records our Lord Jesus as saying love “one another” (which includes yourself), as I have loved you. Jesus says, “As I have loved you.” And remember, Jesus loved you all the way to the cross. Every human being is so worthy, and so loved. Thank you Lord Jesus.
Every human being includes the people of Ukraine. Here is a people trying to have their own place in the world in order that they might contribute back to the world. They are suffering an unprovoked attack on their sovereignty. Words from Psalm 18 fit the situation of Ukraine, “I will call upon the Lord, and so shall I be saved from my enemies:” (Psalm 18:3). It is through our witnessing eyes that God helps them. Therefore, let us do the Lord’s work. It is in this way that we show that we have love for one another.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John