Jesus, help me figure out great ways to “pay it forward” for all the good stuff I’ve been given! Amen.

“Just like my Father loves me, I love you,” Jesus said. “Stay in my love. If you keep my commandments, you’ll stay in my love. This is my commandment: Love one another as I love you.”

Do you “pay it forward?” That means, when someone is kind to you, you do something kind for another person. If you forgot your lunch and an adult at school lends you money to buy lunch, for instance, you’ll remember that. Then, when a friend asks you for lunch money, you’ll be more likely to give it.

“Paying it forward” doesn’t have to be about the same things, either. Everyone has had days where something great happens, and it puts you in such a good mood that you smile at people more and do chores without complaining! You’re “paying forward” the good thing that happened to you just by spreading happiness to other people.

When you think about it, the basic lesson Jesus taught us was to pay it forward. This week’s Gospel (John 15:9-17) explains that.
God the Father loves Jesus. Jesus, in turn, loves us — all of us. Jesus loves everyone, everywhere. And, in the Gospel story, He said to love other people in the same way He loves us.

That’s paying it forward! Jesus was reminding everyone that God gives us good things, whether that’s good health, a place to live, food to eat, family and friends, a church community or other benefits. So, Jesus wanted us to share what we have.

Sometimes, that means lending (or just giving) someone lunch money. Sometimes, it means praying for a friend (or a not-so-friendly person) who is struggling. Paying it forward can mean raking someone’s yard or smiling at a sad-looking grandmother. It can mean thanking your nicest teacher for being nice, or being patient with the teacher you don’t like as much.

Jesus didn’t say how to pay it forward. He just said, “Love one another.” He left it up to us to figure out the best ways to be kind!