Identified As Christ’s Disciples

Some clubs have T-shirts to identify them. Some groups have hats or pins or some other visible sign anyone can see to identify them.

Some Christians (myself included) wear a crucifix. It is a sign by which others might identify us a Christian.

But in today’s Gospel from John, Jesus makes it quite simple. It is not about the crucifix. There are no special clothes. No pins, badges. Nothing we wear, no tangible object at all.

Instead, having given his followers the “new commandment” – the commandment that they love one another as he has loved them, he says: “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

It is hard to make it much plainer than that. As we used to sing, they will know we are Christians by our love. That is less a declarative statement than a challenge.

We ought ask ourselves every day, multiple times a day even: Do they know I am a Christian by my love? When people look at me do they see the love of which Christ spoke? And if the answer is no, what am I going to do about it?