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Today’s Gospel passage gives us the secret of Christian renewal as the faithful practice of Jesus’ new commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you”. Jesus has added a new element to the Old Testament command of love by teaching us that the true test of discipleship is to love other people in the same way that he has loved us, with sacrificial, unconditional, agápe love. Hence, the renewal of Christian life means a radical change of vision and a reordering of our priorities in life. Such a renewal brings us to embrace new attitudes, new values and new standards of relating to God, to other people and, indeed, to our whole environment.

Let us learn to love ourselves so that we may learn to love each other. We cannot learn to cherish others and care for them if we have never learned to do the same for ourselves. We live in a world that denies our basic human worth. How do we reclaim our basic worth? We can become whole and holy only when we learn to love ourselves properly, acknowledging the fact that we are children of God and that the Triune God resides in our souls, making our bodies the “temple of the Holy Spirit.”

Source: Excerpted from Gospel reflection by Fr Tony Kadavil available at

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