Mention the word “love” and you are transported into the realm of the romantic. How can we resist such an impulse when we rely on the media to teach us about love?  And the media satisfies us with titillating, steamy and shocking love affairs.
Remember Maya, the maid and Sir Chief, her boss, who are now drawn emotionally closer, in the drama series “Be Careful with my Heart?”  How can we forget the recent box office hit movie “It Takes a Man and a Woman” with John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo inspiring a whole nation to swoon in love?
Today Jesus’ words reverberate throughout the world’s pulpits. These words were spoken on the night before his arrest, torture and death. It was his last will, the mandate he wanted to bestow on his band of disciples. “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.”
Jesus certainly had deep respect for committed and married love. But romantic love is not the only kind of love God desires us to discover and live.
There is friendly love.  An overemphasis on romance and sex has overlooked a jewel in human and Christian relationship – friendship.  We are called to make friends and to grow with them in virtue.  Friendship reflects the love of the Trinity in its generosity, cordiality and self-giving. Do we still nurture friendships?
There is charitable love.  As Christians we are not to love only our family and friends. The poor and the needy around us demand our attention and compassion too.  When was the last time you were moved to help the poor, assist the confused or listen to a victim? Or are we just afraid of sharing what we have with those in most need of assistance and presence?
There is tough love. Today many parents are afraid to correct their children.  People who know the truth are afraid to speak it for fear of hurting feelings. We are comfortable with tolerating other people’s mistakes and wrongs. We fail to realize that sometimes, if you love another, we must be strong also on our principles so that they will learn to live in discipline and righteousness.
There is just love. Love means living in justice and fairness.  Are we willing to fight for the rights of others?  Do we only take the side of our family and friends and fail to consider the disadvantaged and victims in society?  Jesus certainly took the side of the marginalized and the outcast.  It is our mission too.
Jesus speaks of love today.  It is not easy to live this challenge  because it calls us to explore the many meanings of love outside of that to which we are most familiar. But this Easter time, let us walk the path of love that Jesus has shown us by His death and Resurrection.  Let us be involved in the lives of those who need our love the most.