A New Commandment

There is a literary device novelists, playwrights and screen writers sometimes use known as a flashback. A flashback fills in details that are helpful to us, the viewer or reader, to understand the unfolding story and/or to remind us of previous incidents. Today’s Gospel functions as a flashback for us. The context is Jesus’ farewell discourse which really happened before Jesus’ passion, death and Resurrection. Now we read these words after those events and hear his words in a new light.

It is only in the Resurrection that we begin to understand Jesus’ final command: “love one another as ‘i have loved you.” This commandment to love one another requires a new way of living our lives for the other without counting the cost; dying to self for the common good. Our dying to self reveals the measure of our love for the other.