“As I have loved you, so you should love one another.”
These words from today’s Gospel sum up what it means to be a Christian. Love is the catalyst that brings about creation, sustains relationships, and fosters peace in our world. Without love, our society would quickly devolve into chaos and mayhem.
On April 15th, two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. While most commentators and news media focused on the tragedy and the search for the perpetrators, the real story was the outpouring of love and compassion. Strangers got involved to care for the wounded and terrified. Bostonians opened their homes and businesses as temporary shelters. First responders, participants, and spectators alike joined forces to quickly bring order and relief out of the chaos. While the media was obsessed with the evil, ordinary citizens were acting out of love.
Without love, we cannot hope to build the new heaven and the new earth of which the Book of Revelation speaks. While God makes all things new, God dwells with the human race to show us how to live and love. When we were created and en-souled, the capacity to love and forgive was implanted in our hearts. In time of tragedy and despair, God’s love helps us to get through.
Like Paul and Barnabas, we are invited to proclaim the good news by the way in which we show our love to one another. It is through working together that we are able to accomplish many great things. May our continued celebration of Easter lead us to a deeper appreciation of one another and foster greater compassion for the world around us.