Jesus said, "Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, `Where I am going, you cannot come.' I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."1. Sit in silence.
2. Read the text, listening for your word or phrase.
3. Return to the silence, meditating on your word or phrase.
4. Read the passage a second time, now listening for what God might be revealing to you.
5. Read the passage a third time, listening for what God might be calling you to do.
6. Return to the silence, resting in God's presence.
The word was "love."
The meditation was primarily about how little I know of what the word really means. But then I remembered the feeling of holding my first daughter when she was a newborn. Nothing quite compares to that. I suppose that would be the closest thing to my defintion of "love." A deep devotion, without conditions.
That led me to remembering all those times I have encountered such unconditional love. When I started looking for them, I was surprised by how many memories of those moments of grace there were.
Can I express that kind of unconditional love to others? I can try. Even when confronted with those who bug me, I can seek the face of Christ in them, or, failing that, remember that they were also once someone's newborn, and deserving of the same deep devotion and unconditional love that I felt for my daughter.
When we strip away all the other stuff, what do people really want? To love, and to be loved. I can strive to offer that, not only by loving others, but by allowing others to love me, if we both deserve it or not.