As the Father loves him, so does Jesus love us. And to remain in his love, that is, to keep his commandment of love, is what he wants us to do.
Jesus is saying farewell to his disciples. He comforts them, assuring them that where he will be, there too they will be, promising them the Holy Spirit. He also asks them to remain in him as branches in the vine, so that they may bear much fruit.
But above all he urges his disciples to remain in his love. That is why time and again he commands them to love one another as he loves them. That is because only if they do so will they sense his presence even when he shall have left. To remain in his love is to overcome anguish, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword. Only if they remain in his love can they show they are Christians and stay faithful in difficult times.
And there will surely be trials and tribulations. The forces of injustice, personality cult, exclusivism, will persecute those who bring the Good News to the poor.
And at times we are our own worst enemies (SV.EN XII:66-82). Because we become “ravenous wolves,” “undisciplined people,” seeking only to enjoy ourselves, not bothering about anything but food.
It is necessary, then, for us to remain in Jesus, that is, to remain in his love. After all, he is the expression of the love the Father has for us. One with him, we will know God who is love. And, of course, no one has greater love than the one who gives his body up and sheds his blood for us.
We are weak, O God. Give us, then, the grace to persevere until death (SV.EN IX:284), to remain in the love of your Son, Jesus.
6 May 2018
Sixth Sunday of Easter (B)
Acts 10, 25-26. 34-35. 44-48; 1 Jn 4, 7-10; Jn 15, 9-17