Our first Mass reading today (as it has been for the past couple of days) is from the beautiful first letter of St. John. Today, John gives us a simple test to know when we are in union with Jesus.
How do we know we are in union with him? “Whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked.” And John is very clear that walking just as Jesus walked is all about love:
Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. Whoever hates his brother is in darkness.
We can speak all of the words of faith we like. But no words – not even those spoken with the “tongue of angels” (to use Paul’s phrase in 1 Corinthians) – mean a thing if don’t have love.
I sigh as I write those words, because I know I do not always have the love of Christ in my heart. I want to walk as Jesus walks. I want to love as Jesus loves. I want to be Christ to all who come in contact with me.
I also know that I fail in that aspiration. Probably more often than I’d like to admit. But I know that with God’s grace I can do better. And so each day I pray: Lord, let me love like you. Let me bring your light to the world. Let all who come in contact with me see only you.
Let me walk as you walk. Let me love like you.