"This is my commandment : LOVE one another, as I have LOVED you"
If we’re going to understand what Christ is trying to teach in this command, we have to understand how His way of loving is different than our way of loving.
In place of 'love', the original Greek version uses the Greek word ‘agape’, and the real meaning of it has gotten lost in the modern translations.
In our human condition, we don’t express perfect love. Our love is not perfect in that we do not give our love to everyone. In our lives, each of us has only certain people that we say we 'love', but not others. And we only love those people who we like. That’s not the way God loves, and that’s not what Jesus was teaching. Liking someone has nothing to do with loving them.
The ‘agape’ love that Jesus was talking about is the highest form of perfect love. It refers to the unconditional love God has for us, as well as the human reciprocal love we are supposed to have for God.
It is a love that says I will love you no matter what – whether I like you or not, whether you love me or not, whether you are good to me or bad to me. I will love you simply because you are one of God’s children.
It is a love that goes beyond giving only what we think others might deserve, and does not count the cost to ourselves.
Our lower form of giving love is only a decision of our fickle emotions. Christ’s way of loving is a decision of the will. It is using our intellect to say that I will love you simply because you are God’s creation, and He has commanded me to love you.
Christ was teaching us that we are to love more perfectly, just as He does, not in loving only those who give love back to us. That’s a selfish love. Like Him, we must love every last one, including the unlovely and the unlovable.
We see it clearly when Christ, hanging in agony on His cross, called out to God in heaven “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Jesus showed his perfect love for us by dying on the cross for the sins of all of us – even those who hated him, tortured him, and murdered him.
Jesus' call to us is for us to raise our game to a more perfect form of love. Is it easy?
No. Achieving perfection requires us to first admit our imperfection. Loving others as Christ loves us is the heart of true Christian discipleship, and is at the heart of Our Lady's call in Medjugorje. If we’re gonna talk the talk, we have to walk the walk.
In God’s perfect agape love, the Father gave up his only Son in order to give us everlasting life and adopt us as his beloved sons and daughters in Christ.
There is no more perfect love than this.