Jesus, You say that when we do a kindness to anyone we do it for You. [Matthew 25:40]. You teach that the consequence of not living this Christ-love towards others is self-condemnation to that miserable pit where no love penetrates, for all who dwell within have ultimately rejected divine love.
You teach us that our love “is not to be mere words or mere talk, but something real and active; only by this can we be certain that we are children of the truth.” [John 3:18-19] Your apostle Paul exhorts, “Do not let your love be pretence, but sincerely prefer good to evil. Love each other as brothers should, and have a profound respect for each other…If any of the saints are in need you must share with them; and you must make hospitality your special care.” [Romans 12:9-13]
You command us to “Be compassionate as your heavenly Father is compassionate” even to the sacrifice of His beloved Son. “Do not judge others and you will not yourself be judged. Grant pardon and you will be pardoned. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure.” [Luke 6:36-38]
You command us to **“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be children of your Father in heaven, for He causes the sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and His rain to fall on honest and dishonest persons alike…You must therefore be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” **[Matthew 5:43-48]
You reproach us with this question, “Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye’…Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter in your brother’s eye.” [Luke 6: 39-42]
In speaking of the Last Judgement of our souls, You respond to our bewilderment when we ask **“Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You; or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and make You welcome; naked and clothe You; sick or in prison and go to see You?” Jesus replies “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.” “In so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least, you neglected to do it to me.” **[Matthew 25:37-40, 45-46]
**“Is there a poor brother among you, one of your brothers, in any town of yours? Do not harden your heart or close your hand against that poor brother of yours, but be open-handed with him.” **[Deuteronomy 15:7-8] “Each one should give what he has decided in his own mind, not grudgingly or because he is made to, ‘for God loves a cheerful giver.’” [Proverbs 28:2] “And there is no limit to the blessings which God can send you…for yourselves…for all sorts of good works.” [2Corinthians 9:6-8] “**None of us lives for himself only.” **[Romans 14:7]
You teach us that “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves…For Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, ‘The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.’” [Romans. 15:1-3] “Malice must be banished from your tongue.” [Psalm 34:13]
You promise that if we “Cease to do evil. Learn to do good, search for justice, help the oppressed, be just to the orphan, and plead for the widow. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” [Isaiah 1:17-18]
Please help us to live faithfully in love towards each other even when it is painful and difficult.