Livonia, Michigan

From Fr. Tom

“Love one another”

Today, on this 6th Sunday of Easter, as we hear Jesus’ words about love, I would like to propose three things for us to reflect on that Jesus’ statement, as suggested also by Bishop Socrates Villegas in his homily book, Jesus in my Heart.

First it is a command. It is not an invitation, a request or an option but a command, an order. Being an order, therefore this calls us for total obedience. We are not left with any choice except to follow His command to love one another. It is very easy for us to say, ‘I love you’ to our wife, husband, children, friends and even crushes, but it is very difficult for us to say, ‘I love you’ to our enemies. I also noticed that men find it difficult to say, ‘I love you’ to other men. This does not mean also that we are to be blind to errors or sins or live in a state of denial about wrongs committed around us or to us. It simply means we chose to love so much that our love overshadows the hurt those wrongs may have caused. Second, our Lord does say, ‘Love one another.’ He does not say, ‘Love one another when you are both young or when you are both healthy.’ He does not say, ‘Love one another when you are cute or beautiful or handsome or not angry.’ The Lord only said, ‘Love one another.’ Therefore, this love is without condition and without limitation.

There was this story about these two little boys who were brothers and went to school for an enrollment. The teacher asked these little brothers about their age and birthdays so she could place them on the registration form. The bolder of the two replied: “We’re both seven. My birthday is April 8thand my brother’s birthday is April 20th.” The teacher replied: “But that’s not possible, boys.” The quieter brother spoke up: “No, it’s true. One of us is adopted.” “Oh!” said the teacher, “Which one is adopted?”

The two brothers looked at each other and smiled. The bolder brother said: “We asked Dad that same question a while ago but he just looked at us and said he loved us both equally and he couldn’t remember anymore which one of us is adopted.”

What a wonderful analogy of God’s love for us. It is a love without condition; it does not discriminate. Third, our Lord says, ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ The Lord did not say, ‘Love one another as they love you or as you love yourself.’ Our basis for loving others is not the love we have received from others because this love is imperfect and impure. Our standard for loving others is the love we experience from the Lord Himself. We love others because God loves us.

Let us pray today as we reflect on this Jesus’ commandment that we love one another without conditions and that our model for loving won’t be the love we see in others, but the love that God has for us.

  • P.S. # This weekend we have one more opportunity to express our love as we celebrate the Mother’s Day! May God, through the intercession of the Mother of Mothers – Mary, bless abundantly our Mothers for their love, sacrifice, dedication. May heaven be open for those of our Mothers who already died.
  • This weekend two of our parishioners: Sean Tabone and Olivia Khleif have gotten married at St. Rafka Maronite Church. May God bless them, protect them, and help them to be faithful to each other. May their marriage be holy and happy.
  • I don’t know about you, but I am very grateful that the Archdiocese of Detroit extended my assignment at St. Genevieve – St. Maurice Parish, as administrator for another year! God still give me a chance to love you more! 😉
  • The next weekend I will be in Stamford, CT, with my family celebrating the wedding of my cousin’s daughter. Please keep these young people Dorothy and Ben and their families in your prayers. May they love each other till the last moment of their lives like Jesus loved us.

Have a blessed week.

~Fr. Tom