Jan. 3, 2022
13Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
14We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
15Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
16Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
18My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
20For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
22And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
24And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
This is a direct quote from the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible – New Testament: 3:16 – lay down our lives: The supreme expression of love according to Jesus (Jn 15:13). Some are called to a dying martyrdom, which consists of the total surrender of human life in a generous act of love and fidelity to the faith. Everyone, however, is called to a living martyrdom, which involves a lifetime of sacrifice for the love and benefit of others. John’s plea to help the needy with tangible assistance is one such way of giving ourselves to others.
Other ways we can give of ourselves can be time – spending time with someone who may be widowed or is ill in some manner. Perhaps offering to babysit the children of a harried and exhausted mother. Stopping by the neighbor’s house and offering to pick up groceries for them while you’re in the store. These are demands on your time; these are sacrifices – do them with a happy heart. The world moves so fast – except for folks for whom it doesn’t. Imagine the reward of spending time with folks, doing little favors, helping to put some small things right; they say we’ll get our reward in heaven but I think we get our joy immediately. Doing good things for others puts a smile on our faces and a zip in our hip. Do yourself a favor and do a favor for someone else. Jesus is so smart!