– Friday 5th Week of Easter –
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” [John 15:12-17]
The words of today’s Gospel almost sound like we are in an echo chamber: “Love one another. Remain in my love. Love one another as I love you. I have called you friends. I chose you. This I command you: love one another.”
Words about love abound.
Love is not a suggestion or a wish, but a command from Jesus. They are imperatives. They have power and strength. It is not “if you want” or “this is just a suggestion.”
Many people struggle at this point, including myself. “How can you command love? Love is a feeling, and if you don’t love somebody, you can’t help it. I don’t want to love the person I dislike so much. I don’t think I can love the person that has hurt my family.”
But love, as Jesus speaks of in today’s Gospel is far beyond feelings. We can be sure of one thing: He would never command us to do what is impossible. The key is that we are to love, Jesus says, “as I have loved you.” How can we love like Jesus? Human love is a mirroring of Divine love by the grace and help of the Holy Spirit, which we all have by virtue of our baptisms. To love as Jesus loved is supernatural and beyond our capabilities, but we are tapped into God by the indwelling of his Spirit in our lives. As we yield to the Holy Spirit, loving as God loves becomes possible. By God’s grace we are able to love in difficult moments and hard situations.
God of love, may your love flow from us like rivers of living water. We ask this in your holy and precious name. Amen
by Vanessa Comninos