First Reading: Acts 1:15-17, 20-26
Gospel: John 15:9-17
WHAT DOES JESUS ASK?
What does Jesus ask of you and me today – and every day!
In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus loud and clear: “Remain in my love,” and how do we remain in His love? “This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you!” Simple, profound and all-encompassing.
What kind of love is Jesus talking about? It’s certainly not romantic love; a sentimental love or some kind of theoretical love. No. The kind of love that Jesus is talking about is concrete. The best definition that I have ever read of the kind of love that Jesus is talking about is this: “Love is the choice that I make for the good of another”. Throughout His life and ministry, Jesus made concrete choices for the good of others, e.g., the healing of lepers, the forgiveness of sin. Jesus’ total self-giving for others led Him to the Cross. He gave His very life so that we might live.
Most of us will not be giving our lives literally for others, but all of us are called upon each day to make choices for the good of others. We are called to be inclusive and all-embracing especially with those that we do not like. It is always easier to make loving choices for those that we are attracted to. Not much virtue there. Most of our choices will be “little ones” but the reality is that they will be a manifestation of love. I enjoy the following.
A sociologist was interviewing a class of first graders. She asked each of the children to give her an example of love. One little girl said: “Love is when my grandfather gets down on his knees and cuts the toenails of my grandmother became she can’t bend over any more.” How more concrete can you get? So often, love is manifested in the seemingly small choices that we make.
Jesus invites us to “Remain in my love!” Jesus commands us to “love one another as I have loved you.” Jesus’ commandment to love is not just some pious exhortation that we can admire and then put aside. It is a mandate to go beyond our self-centered comfort zones and become our best selves.
Brother Andre Mathieu, C.P.