Today’s Gospel: John 15:9-17 – 6th Sunday of Easter
The Gospel for today is a concise description of our new, glorious life in Christ. The Christian life is an incredible life, mind-boggling if we really stop for a moment and allow the truth about it to sink in. Jesus loves us, mere mortals, with the same depth and intensity as the Father loved Him.
Yes, we must keep Christ’s commandments, but this is not a chore, because it is not only about striving to obey but about remaining in His love and joy. Pope Francis, as well as Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, constantly remind us that Christianity is all about a relationship of love, not about following rules and regulations. Joy, not flimsy happiness, is a sign that we live in God and God lives in us.
At first glance, Jesus’s commands seem daunting when He reminds us that the greatest test of love is to lay down our lives for one another. In fact, we are called to love one another as He loved us. Impossible? On our own it is, but we are not mere servants, scurrying around trying to please a stern master. Jesus does not expect us to do the impossible, because the Father will give us anything we ask Him for in Christ’s name.
We are now friends of Jesus, friends of God Himself. We have been chosen by God to love, to share this new life of joy with each other, We will bear fruit not by trying hard but by living in Christ’s love, by living in, with and through the Holy Spirit.
Have I surrendered my old self, my old life to Christ and allowed Him to fill me with His life, love, and joy?
Lord, grant me the grace to surrender my old life to You so I can truly allow You to love others through me, as You commanded.