It is not easy to love one another as we should in this world. Fortunately, Jesus has given us confidence by making it absolutely impossible.
The old Commandment was, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That is, at least theoretically, something we might be able to do. And if able, then we are obliged. If the ball is in our court, it is up to us to hit it.
But Jesus took the ball out of our court by making it impossible for us to do what he commands. He changed the Commandment.
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another... just as I have loved you (John 13:34).
That is impossible. To love as God does, we would have to be God. The old Latin proverb says, “Ad impossibile nemo tenetur”: “No one is bound to do the impossible.”
So, first of all, we can relax. Jesus isn’t calling us to make some superhuman effort to love as he does. “Superhuman” means “supernatural,” and we can’t achieve that by any kind of effort. On the other hand....
What we cannot do by effort, we can do by surrender. They didn’t teach us that in grade school.
Yes, we are called to live a “supernatural” life. We are obliged to. As Christians, we have a moral obligation to do the impossible. But not by our own efforts.
To love as Christ loves, we have to surrender to letting him love in us and through us.
In us: Jesus is in us, sharing our life and sharing his life with us. Our life is a partnership with God: a divine-human way of living in which we do what is divine by letting Jesus in us do it through us. We surrender to him as “senior partner.” We let him act.
But for him to act through us, we have to choose to give expression in our physical, visible, human actions to the spiritual, invisible, divine action of Jesus living in us.
We love as Jesus does by surrendering to letting him love in us and through us. The ball is in his court. We don’t try to hit it; we let him hit it. But for Jesus to hit the ball on earth today, he needs a body. That is what we contribute to the partnership. We make his divine love human by giving it human expression. We speak and act in a way that expresses the divine love that Jesus in our hearts is sharing with us. We give it human, physical expression. As his partner.
In a partnership, there is only one action: the act of the corporate whole. When the “corporation” does something, neither partner is doing anything, and both partners are equally doing everything.
So when we love as Christ’s body and he loves in us and through us, Christ is loving humanly and we are loving divinely. Our bodies are not “packaging.” They — with our human minds and hearts — are our contribution to the partnership. What Jesus does through us, we do in him. What he does humanly, we do divinely, and vice-versa. Jesus is loving as a human. We are loving as God.
Does that take off the pressure? If not, reflect on what it means to “surrender.”
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