"This is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another…” – 1 Jn. 3:11

Due to being a religious and a teacher, unlike the Apple iPhone or iPad version, I get only an annual week of real facetime with my family. This year, that time happened in Texas during Christmas break.

y family is a typically atypical family. My folks live with my forty-something single brother and sister, who each have their own child, who in turn split time between their parents’ homes.

Even though not siblings, my five-year-old nephew Lucky and my eight-year-old niece Anna have a love-hate relationship that siblings often do. They long to be with each other when they are not around each other. And when they are around each other, they scream and fight.

When I spent time with the two, to keep my own sanity, I had to set up clear expectations of their behavior, setting up appropriate boundaries and consequences. To my own amazement, they responded so well… reading books and sharing toys together, helping each other cook and wash dishes. My sister asked, “Can you stay here forever?”

It was almost as if Lucky and Anna were reminded to do something they already knew. To love each other more.

And today, the readings remind us that. To love each other more. To follow Jesus more. To lay our lives down for each other more.    

Lucky and Anna listened to and followed a flawed uncle for a few days and amazed their parents by how they loved each other more.  

Looking at the world today with people screaming and fighting so much at times, how are we personally invited to listen to Jesus more? To follow Him more? To lay down our lives more? To love each other more? How may the world look differently doing so?   

Eddie Ngo, SJ