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John 15:9-17

The Word of God

Jesus said to his disciples, "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved 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 do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another."

John 15:9-17
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus said that we need to abide in his love so we can love others. He desires for us to know him as a friend and to deepen that relationship so we can experience his joy. We are chosen to go forward each day knowing our friend’s love will flow through us.
    • Our joy comes from knowing that we have been chosen, called, and sent. As a friend God invites us to bask in his unconditional love. We turn towards what is good in us, what brings us life, rather than what diminishes our spirit.
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    • We met this gospel passage a few days ago, but we find it again today because it is the reading of the feast of the Apostle Matthias, who took the place of Judas after the Ascension. As I read these moving words of Jesus, I dwell on his love and care for his friends. He wants above all to reassure them of his love which, as they will soon see, cannot be greater. I realise that these words are also addressed to me, in all my weakness and uncertainty. I ask for God’s help that my love will be like that of Jesus, that I may be ready to give myself for others.
    • You are my friends if you do what I command you. This sounds like a strange statement, but on second thoughts I realise it makes sense, for that is my experience. I find myself spontaneously doing what pleases my friend, not because I am afraid of losing their friendship or because I want to appear good in their eyes, but just because we are friends. I have called you friends, not servants. I relish these beautiful words, with deep gratitude.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The core of the Christian message is love, God loves me! How is it to sit with this reality? If we could grasp God’s unconditional love for us, life would be radically a journey of joy. To accept that God loves me is also to accept the reality that God loves all others in the same way. I am called to love myself and others, and it is clear from the Gospel that I am called to love the poor, the excluded, and the marginalised in a special way. I am also called to care for the earth, described by Pope Francis as “our common home”; which God has entrusted us.
    • “God, who calls us to generous commitment and to give him our all, offers us the light and the strength needed to continue on our way. In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward.” (Pope Francis, Laudato Si 245).
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • A person blind from birth cannot understand colour. A person who has never been loved can find love a baffling word. I feel I have an inkling of love's meaning, but how? Whose love was it that taught me the meaning of the word? What do I know about the sort of self-giving that is unearned, unquestioning, looking for no return?
    • Lord, I have so much to learn from you about love.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • My love for others must not be conditioned by how they respond. Jesus loves me totally, whether I am good or bad or indifferent. My love must have that quality too. This is costly love – it could demand my very life!
    • This costly love will bear rich fruit, whether I see it or not. Just so, Jesus’ love bears fruit only after his death. I must not be discouraged when my love seems to be wasted. True love never comes to an end (1 Corinthians 13:8). Loving actions are the building blocks of eternal life.