In today’s gospel we hear the call to live the law of love. Jesus said to the eleven disciples, “I give you a new commandment, love one another.” This call resonates in our hearts. Many times I remind people of our constant need to study our faith by asking if they can recite the 10 commandments. It’s difficult for all of us! More to the point, I’ve noticed that people often mistake the first commandment “I am the lord your God and you shall not have false Gods before Me” with “love one another.” A common equivocation with the first commandment is the law of love!
It is worthwhile to consider how seriously people take the call to love one another since our Lord Jesus Christ called it a commandment. I feel a sense of gratitude that people would mistakenly put the law of love in the 10 commandments. Indeed, spiritual authors teach that if we perfectly love God and perfectly love all persons then we cannot break a commandment. The law of love should have pride-of-place in our souls.
I propose that our model for the law of love is Saint Teresaof Calcutta. Her perfect love for God manifested itself in a beautiful mission of love human persons. In a 1981 address the saint said, “Christ has said so often, ‘love one another as I have loved you.’ …We have been created for greater things. We are not just a number in the world. (You are) a child of God. And that person is my brother, my sister. And therefore, that’s why Jesus insisted so much on that love for one another.” (Narita Airport Address, Tokyo)