Beyond Affection to Commitment

How do you think that an ordinary person would answer this question: “Which is to be preferred—loving or being loved?”  I think that most people would say that they’d prefer to be loved than to love.  There is a famous prayer of the thirteenth century saint, Francis of Assisi in Italy who wrote a prayer, part of which says: “O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be loved as to love.

The key to understanding this different way of loving comes from Jesus in today’s Gospel.  The world sees love as affection—a feeling, a possessing of the other.  For Jesus, it’s very different.  Love is more than an emotion, it’s a commandment!  Whether we feel like it or not, we are called to love.  Beyond the affection of love is the commitment to love. 

Jesus’s love for us is so great that he freely died to show us this love and to give us his Holy Spirit so that we would love as Jesus loves.  What changes need to take place in the way you look at things so that you can be open to receive the grace to love as Jesus loves?

John 13:31-35

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table!.  Click here to visit the website for more information.