“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But if any one has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.

– 1 John 3:16-18

Very few, if any of us, can pass through this world without experiencing broken, hurtful relationships. Either someone we love disappoints us, or we disappoint someone who loves us. At times, the hurt can be so great, the anger so deep, that we do not forgive or seek forgiveness. We need to examine our lives and identify any relationships that need to be repaired and renewed. Then we need to do what is necessary to love as God commands.

But, there is another way in which we fail to love one another. In the ordinary moments of our day we encounter God’s will for our lives. We encounter one another. It may be a family member or friend, it may be a stranger. Do we see them? Do we show them the love of God? A kind word, a smile, a helping hand?

In today’s first reading at Mass, St. John reminds us, “let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.

Father of Mercy, help us to love. Break us out of our self-centeredness. May we see those You place in our paths and have the courage to love and respect them according to the dignity given them by You.

Who will I love today?

Glad tidings!

Image credit: “The Good Samaritan” (detail) | Balthasar van Cortbemde, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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