MAY 6. EASTER. Wk 5. Thu. Jn. 15. 9-11
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘As the Father has loved me,
so I have loved 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 own joy may be in you
and your joy be complete.’
“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you!” What we have here is a statement from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, that he loves us; - in the same way he is loved by the Father; - which means we have to ponder how the Father loves his Son.
The most obvious characteristic of the Father’s Love is he put the needs of others before his own interests; - and he expects his Son; - whom he loves; - to do the same; - something Christ clearly did during the time he dwelt among us.
So, we have a powerful lesson in this reading, where Christ is teaching his disciples he loves them; - in the same way the Father loves him; - which means putting their needs, and the needs of others; - before his own!
While it is easy to state this truth; - and to witness it in how Christ lived his earthly life; - it is a teaching that is extremely difficult to put into practice; - because of our inbuilt inclination to care for ourselves; - and put our own desires and wishes first.
But this is exactly what Christ is asking of us today with the simple instruction “Remain in my Love!” If we want to follow his example it is a requirement we put the needs of others before our own!
And the most remarkable aspect of the Father’s Love; - and the Love of Jesus Christ; - is it is a Love that is shown toward sinners; - those who rejected God’s Love; - and who gave first place to their own wishes and desires; - so it is a merciful love!
So, what we are being taught here is the need to love others, and to care for others, even when they have injured or offended us; - something in a league of its own, and which goes beyond just loving and caring for those around us or those we like!
Inherent in this reading is a call to show Mercy towards all; - no matter our feelings towards them, - as nobody is excluded from the Love of God; - which means a readiness to show Mercy to all has to be an essential component of our own love!
And then we have the final unexpected statement; - “I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete”; - where we are told what we know in or hearts to be true; - namely when we show merciful love to others, we experience true happiness and joy; - because we know this to be “right”; - and how we would like to be treated ourselves!