Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light; that we, being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and evangelist John, may so walk in the light of your truth, that at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
I used to not like John the Evangelist. Besides Paul, John's Gospel has the oft-cited passages that have been used to advance a certain kind of Christian bigotry that is obnoxious at its best; dangerous at its worst.
But John is also credited for giving us these words of Jesus:
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.’--John 13:24-35
This new commandment is in fact the main point of all of Jesus' teachings. It is also the one thing that we seem to have the most difficulty doing. It seems, too, that the higher up you move in the church hierarchy, the more this kind of love seems elusive. I saw headline the other day that the bishops in Sudan are snubbing the primate of this country, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. How pathetic and sad! I'm sure that the youngest of the disciples, the one who reclined next to Jesus at the Last Supper, would be jerking himself upright and admonishing those who refuse communion with a fellow member in the body of Christ to remember the words of their Savior: Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
On this feast day, let love be the focus and the centerpoint from which we live and move and have our being.