Jesus said, “My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (Gospel for May 19, Jn. 13:34).
“I give you a new commandment: love one another,” we hear in the Gospel reading. We’ve heard this saying of Jesus before, but do we personalize it this and truly know it to be true? Statistically, we as Catholics in America today are not renowned for loving one another to the point that we risk sharing our faith with others. One recent poll found that only 6% of Catholics characterized sharing their faith as a “high priority.” But Jesus invites us to do more. He does not call the equipped; he equips the called. And each one of us is called to love one another in the most profound way—by caring about others’ eternal well-being.
This month I challenge you to invite one person out for coffee, to your home, or an event at your parish. Tell them what you enjoy about the Catholic faith. Secondly, if they have been away from the Catholic Church, invite them back. If they are not Catholic, ask them if they would consider joining. Either way, be welcoming and nonjudgmental when they give their response.