In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of the very heart and foundation of his teaching and message. We hear his parting words to his disciples before his passion and death. What he tells them, and us, is to love others in the same way that he loves us. This, he says, is a new commandment, and a true test of discipleship. In terms of this deep caring for the good of others – for those who have hurt us, or have behaved in a way we cannot accept as good, we can pray for them, and ask God’s blessing on them – not to suit us, but for their well-being, and to bring them back into harmony with God’s ways.
It is precisely by our being love-filled people that God comes into our lives. It is through this constant love-centred interaction with others that the “new earth, the new heaven, and the new Jerusalem” come into existence–not at some unknown future time, but here and now–today. It is in our hands. All we have to do is to follow the example of Jesus, our Lord.