Brotherly love
ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato (The Philippine Star) - April 21, 2019 - 12:00am

The Holy Week is a season where most of the time our focus is directed on the passion and death of Jesus Christ. While this is truly a meaningful focus, I personally tend to look at the fruit of the Lord’s passion which is love.

From the day He was born, the sole reason why Christ was sent to mankind was to send a message of truth, to heal, and most of all, to love. Jesus taught us that brotherly love, or love for neighbor, had tremendous effects on society and that life was just as simple as dealing with each other with proper regard.

“To love” is a verb. It is a very concrete action that involves honor, respect and responsibility. Love is motivated by the truth and the truth which comes from the divine becomes the foundation of every virtue.

Virtues such as integrity, consideration, authenticity and justice are the essence of our character and in the end we take consolation in the reward of abiding by the truth. When we live in the truth, we are actually responding to God’s love.

Jesus also came to heal. He did so to relieve the distressed and to show all men that we are duty bound to show affection, to soothe the unhappy, to show compassion, and to restore peace. This was the example Jesus set before his disciples and it is still an example for all men today.

In Philosophy we learn that the natural law also teaches us that we belong to a brotherhood of men and the point I would like to reflect on is how much of this brotherhood do we actually comprehend.

Holy Week for me is the opportunity for all of us to ponder about how we do our parts as members of one brotherhood regardless of race, nation or creed. Love and charity are one and the same for whatever it is that we do in charity finds favor with God. The apostle Paul in his first book to the Corinthians teaches us that, “love is patient, love is kind. It is not boastful or envious or arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on it’s own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.” This sums up everything that Jesus came to do. Brotherly love enjoins us and simply put, to one another we owe a duty of care by treating others in all respects as we would like to be treated. John 15:13 says, “ Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

To our brothers ( and sisters of course), we owe all the duties of care that we owe ourselves. Love therefore comes from God as St. John says; and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. To abide by the truth, to heal our brothers and sisters and most of all, to love one another. Love is the greatest gift that has been given to us through both joy and sacrifice.

Holy Week is a reminder of this offering, but living it is what makes our lives count. After all, we are all our brother’s keeper.

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