What if someone were to write a book about your life? What would they say? We all like to think that it would be something like: he loved his family; she was so self-sacrificing; or he made such a difference in the world.
But what if the story they wrote about your life sounded more like this: he worked really hard all his life to make himself happy and to have good things and to retire in order to do whatever he wanted; she was so focused on having the perfect house that she didn’t spend much time serving other people – but the house was really beautiful! Or success consumed her so much that she would do whatever it took to become a success and to look good in the eyes of others. Is that the type of book that you would want written about yourself?
Our first reading today from St. John (1 John 3:11-21) gives us a definition about what the book of our lives should be about. Here are some key points worth noting:
- “Love one another” is not only a prescription and description of our Christian life, but it’s also one of the tests of our Christian life. Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.
- It’s impossible to say that you hate your brother or sister and remain in fellowship with God. We must love everyone!
- As Catholic Christians, we constantly move from death to life, and even our desire to love is affected by that. Each of us angels only have one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.
- Loving one another is not overlooking someone’s sins and letting them live however they want. Loving one another is acknowledging their brokenness and helping them find righteousness, like Jesus did for us.
- God expects us to forgive and love others in the same way that He forgives and loves us.
In our book of life, the answers are never in the back. You will always find the answers within. Let us pray that our eyes be opened to see how God would have us humbly, practically and sacrificially love another person this week – especially those who have hurt us. Let our lives be an open book so that we can truly love one another; for where love is, there God is.