As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father´s commandments and remain in his love. "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. 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. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another. (John 15: 9-17)
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I place myself in your presence. Increase my faith, which at times is even smaller than a mustard seed. Help me to know that you are always with me.
Petition: Lord, help me to relish your friendship.
1. No Greater Love “As the Father loves me”… Let us begin our contemplation of Christ’s words thinking of the Father’s love for Jesus, his beloved Son. John would later write in one of his letters that “God is love.” God is not a lonely clockmaker in the sky. Nor is he some projection of man’s super ego. He is Love; therefore, he is a Trinity of Persons. From all eternity, the Father and his Son, together with their Holy Spirit, rejoice in their mutual love. This love is beyond all human understanding. So when Jesus says “As the Father loves me, so I love you,” we are coming upon an incredible truth. We are being drawn into the realm of Trinitarian love—we belong to very family of God. What an awesome and consoling reality!
2. Jesus’ Emancipation Proclamation Jesus’ love for us gives us such dignity. “I no longer call you slaves.” Slavery strips away a person’s human dignity: a slave has no say, no rights, no dignity. But Jesus give us the freedom of the sons of God. We are set free from sin and given the inestimable gift of his friendship—a friendship that holds nothing back: “I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.” There is no secret information that we are missing. We have the most important truth. Jesus’ love for us was so great that he laid down his life for us.
3. Fruit and fraternal charity We are the friends of Jesus, and having our friendship, he gives us a command that we can only fulfill as friends, and not like slaves under exterior compulsion. “Love one another as I have loved you.” The Father’s love for the Son is Jesus’ model of his love for us; and his love for us must be the model of our own fraternal charity. This indeed is the most precious fruit that Jesus has appointed us to bear. And it is destined to remain. When all other human accomplishments are forgotten, love will last forever. It builds up the body of Christ and will never be lost.
Dialogue with Christ: Thank you, Lord, for the gift of your love. If I had not discovered your love, I would have remained a slave of my own whims and desires. But knowing your love helps me to love others.
Resolution: I will be charitable to my family today.