Easter 6 - Year B
In John 13 we hear the importance of “loving one another” - it is the preeminent sign of community. Those who do so reflect their connection with wholeness. In the Christian community this is being a disciple of Jesus, one who loves those Jesus loves. Of course this quickly becomes a universal stance toward all people and all of creation as we are all relatives of one another.
Here we again hear about “loving one another”. This is not about being an attractant to church - others seeing our love for one another and coming to wonder and give an offering to keep us going. At the first level this is simply a way to live, whether a disciple of Jesus or not. All manner of folks offer themselves to others - to show what they know and understand.
A more dangerous level is reading this too literally, as though only Jesus’ disciples can love, follow this command, or that love is outcome based - that we will love as long as we are getting what we want.
There is also a circularity here - I am giving you a command to love one another so that you will love one another as you can’t do it without being commanded. Can a commanded love be love?
Back to a more helpful reading, your gifts will bear the most fruit when done in community. Therefore love one another and prosper.