With his "new commandment" to "love one another as I love you", Jesus "asks us to love each other not only and not so much with our love, but with his, which the Holy Spirit infuses in our hearts if we invoke him with faith. This way - and only this way - we can love each other not only as we love ourselves, but as He loves us, that is immensely more.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – During his address to the faithful before today’s Regina Caeli, Pope Francis said that to love with the love Jesus has for us “opens us to others, becoming the basis of human relationships. It makes us capable of overcoming the barriers of our own weaknesses and biases, creates bridges, teaches new ways, triggers the dynamism of fraternity.”
Francis reminded the 20,000 people present in St Peter's Square for the recitation of the Marian prayer, that "today's Gospel takes us to the Cenacle to hear some of the words that Jesus addressed to the disciples in his ‘farewell speech’ before the passion. After washing the feet of the Twelve, He told them: ‘I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another’ (Jn 13:34).
“In what sense does Jesus call this commandment ‘new’? We know that already in the Old Testament God had commanded the members of his people to love their neighbour as themselves (see Lv 19:18). Jesus himself, to those who asked him what was the Law’s greatest commandment, answered that the first is to love God with all one's heart and the second is to love one's neighbour as oneself (see Mt 22: 38-39).”
So what is the novelty of this commandment that Jesus entrusts to his disciples? The ancient commandment of love has become new because it was completed with this addition: ‘love one another as I love you.’ Love each other as I have loved you. The novelty is all in the love of Jesus Christ, the one with which he gave his life for us. It is God’s love, universal, without conditions and without limits, which finds its apex on the cross.
“At that moment of extreme abasement and abandonment to the Father, the Son of God showed and gave to the world the fullness of love. Thinking back to the passion and agony of Christ, the disciples understood the meaning of his words: ‘As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.’ Jesus loved us first, he loved us despite our frailties, our limitations and our human weaknesses. It was He who made us become worthy of his love, which knows no limits and never ends.
“By giving us the new commandment, He asks us to love each other not only and not so much with our love, but with his, which the Holy Spirit infuses in our hearts if we invoke him with faith. This way - and only this way - we can love each other not only as we love ourselves, but as He loved us, that is immensely more. God loves us much more than we love ourselves. And so we can spread everywhere the seed of love that renews relationships between people and opens horizons of hope."
"This love makes us become new men and women, brothers and sisters in the Lord, and makes us the new People of God, the Church, in which all are called to love Christ and, in Him, love one another".
"The love manifested on the cross of Christ and that He calls us to live is the only force that transforms our heart of stone into a heart of flesh; the only force capable of transforming our heart is Jesus’s love, the love that enables us to love our enemies and forgive those who have offended us. Each of us may ask: Am I able to love my enemy who has offended me?"
"Jesus’s love opens us to others, becoming the basis of human relationships. It makes us capable of overcoming the barriers of our own weaknesses and biases, creates bridges, teaches new ways, triggers the dynamism of fraternity.
“May the Virgin Mary help us, with her maternal intercession, to welcome from her Son Jesus the gift of his commandment, and from the Holy Spirit the strength to practise it in everyday life.”