Jesus embodies love. And he sees to it that we catch this love. Hence, he gives us commandments that will lead us to love as he loves.
Jesus loves his own who are in the world not in theory but in practice. And he does so before he teaches them his commandments; he begins to do before he begins to teach (SV.EN XII:5).
Jesus starts to make real his love, yes, as he does what servants do: he washes their feet. He sets them an example, so they also do what he does, so that they love, as he loves.
But it is not enough for him to serve so. For he has come, besides, to serve and to give his life in ransom for all. That is to say, to love to the end. The Servant is to give the greatest proof of love.
And since Jesus is to leave this world and go to the Father soon, his words have more meaning. They make known his concern and wishes for those he is leaving behind to go to God, from whom he has come.
Does it worry the Teacher that his disciples may forget him and stray from the path he has shown them? But no doubt, he wishes that they stay true to him, to his example and teachings. And he wants, most of all, that they remain in his love, which they will do if they keep his commandments.
Jesus keeps his Father’s commandments and remains in his love.
Jesus lets the disciples know him as the one who keeps his Father’s commandments and remains in his love. And so, to remain in Christ’s love, we have to do as he does.
That is to say, we have to embody his two great virtues: reverence to his Father and charity to others (SV.EN VI:413). And “to keep the Father’s commandments and to remain in his love” is what “reverence” is about.
On the other hand, “charity” is all about Jesus’ readiness to relieve human suffering. Yes, he goes about doing good in behalf of the least of his brothers and sisters. He proclaims the Good News of the kingdom. There is no disease or sickness that he does not cure. He feeds the hungry and dries the tears of those who mourn. Children, sinners and strangers get welcome from him.
In other words, to remain in Jesus’ love, we have to stay in the arms of Providence. And we shall strive at the same time to live and die in the service of the poor to follow Jesus Christ (SV.EN III:384). We will love them to the point of giving our bodies up and shedding our blood.
Lord Jesus, grant that, like St. Louise de Marillac, we keep your commandments by your Spirit’s light and strength (SL.EN A.2:1). We will thus remain in your love and our joy will be full.
9 May 2021
Sixth Sunday of Easter (B)
Acts 10, 25-36. 44-48; 1 Jn 4, 7-10; Jn 15, 9-17
St. Louise de Marillac
Is 58 1a. 5-11; Jas 2, 14-19. 26; Mt 25, 31-46