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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

January 18, 2016

How Do You "Love One Another"?

In the Last Supper discourse recorded in the Gospel of John, Jesus says: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (15:12-13).

In dying on the Cross, Jesus gave the greatest gift of love to all people and for all times. How can your students emulate this gift of love in their everyday lives? Ask them to think, first, of stories of people who have exhibited this type of love to them. Have them write a one-page essay that recounts this example. Here is one such example told by a graduating high-school senior:

My Story

We came at each other from opposite directions: I from the door leading to the girls’ locker room, he from the outer foyer leading to the gymnasium parking lot.

He was late again as he had been for so many of my special events growing up. But at least he was here. I thought about the piano recital I played in at the local college when I was eight years old. He was delivering magazines to all the airport newsstands that day. I remembered the state championship gymnastic meet when I won two gold medals. I searched for him from the victory stand. His boss had called him to work that Saturday because the quarterly reports were due.

My thoughts shifted as I neared the podium set up at the center of the basketball court. I wasn’t nervous. I moved comfortably to the microphone. “Thank you for honoring me as valedictorian of this year’s senior class,” I began. Everyone settled back in their seats to hear my speech. That’s when I saw them. Finally.

My father, sitting in the first row of the bleachers, stretched out his legs and propped his shoes up on his heels. I stared out at him hoping to catch his eye but all I could see was the holes in the soles of each shoe.

That’s when I really grasped all that my father had done. And that he had done it all for me.

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