Jesus said that the heart of all the Law and Prophets hung on two Commandments: 1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength, and 2) Love your neighbor as yourself. But at the Last Supper, as He prepares for His Crucifixion, Jesus sets a new standard for His people to follow. He tells them to love each other as much as He has loved them first. What is the extent of Christ’s love? His love will be shown in its fullness the very next day as He suffers and dies upon the Cross.
To love our family in Christ as Christ has loved us is to love our family in Christ more than we love ourselves. The perfect Love of Christ is sacrificial, forsaking one’s own well-being for the sake of the other, even to death. But through Peter who will deny Jesus three times, we remember that despite our best efforts, we cannot love Jesus in our own ability. We as His disciples, cannot do the Work that Christ did. This is why He went to great lengths to do this Work for us. This is why we need Jesus. We need to be equipped not only with the example of Jesus’ Love, but with this Love itself that has been freely given in order to fully love others as He commands. “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you will follow later,” Jesus said. Blessed be God for the Love of Jesus Christ which not only covers us and saves us, but also equips us to love others the way we are called. Just as we can live freely only through Christ, it is by Christ alone that we can love others fully.