From the Word of the Day
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (John 15: 9-11)
Today’s Gospel continues that of the vine and the branches, giving us deeper insight into the connection between the commandments and a joy that is complete. Jesus leaves to His disciples and to all of us another key word – that of love. Jesus helps us to see how to live the commandments and to live love. The journey is traced out by Jesus. The first undergirds the whole of Christian life, “As the Father has loved Me, I too have loved you”. This love reaches us without any merit on our part and is greater than our heart. It envelops us, dilates us, and immerses us without ever forcing our consent. As the Father and the Son came to dwell in us, in our turn, we dwell in them, in their love. It is a mutual inhabitation of the Trinity in us and us in the Trinity, through Jesus. This love comes to us from on high, not only from Jesus whose face and voice we know, but through Jesus, from the Father. We have received the very love of God, who is eternal life.
Jesus exhorts us to remain in His love. This is made possible by observing His commandments, thanks to the lymph of love divine that circulates from the vine to the branches.
An unexpected novelty comes at the end of the passage. It is the motive of joy, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete”. This may seem paradoxical because for the worldly-minded, joy comes from outside, from evasions and diversions. Instead, the Gospel tells us that joy comes from within the Christian life. As we follow Christ, no matter how hard it may be at times, there is always joy!
Lord, take my heart and make it Your dwelling place of love and joy, where everyone may find You!
The Voice of St. Augustine
Christ came above all to make us know how much God loves us and to tell us that we must burn with love for Him who has first loved us; to love our neighbor to obey Him after His example who comes close to us by loving us.