Jesus, you gave us the new command to love each other
just as you loved your disciples.
We are eager to imitate you in loving our brothers and sisters, but like Peter,
our efforts are often more words and good intentions
than action and sacrifice..
We want to offer ourselves fully in friendship
but when the relationship becomes costly we disengage.
We want to reach out to those different from ourselves
but tend to stay within our safe routines.
And when relationships lead to hurt or betrayal
we withdraw to protect ourselves
and fail to keep your commandment.
You know this about us.
You know that we are weak and made of dust.
Oh, pour out an extra measure of faith upon us!
Strengthen us with the supernatural ability to love just as you loved.
Enable us to present ourselves as living sacrifices in our relationships.
But more than that, bless our flawed, timid expressions
and communicate them through your Holy Spirit,
so that those who we begin to love,
know that, in fact, they are loved
just as you loved your disciples, and us, unto the end.
It was just before the Passover Festival.
Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.
Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
A new command I give you: Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.