Jesus said to his disciples, «This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this, to give one's life for one's friends; and you are my friends if you do what I command you. I shall not call you servants any more, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learned from my Father. You did not choose me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. This is my command, that you love one another».
I have said yesterday that the word ‘love’ is so vulgarised that it is very often misunderstood in ordinary human relationship. Today I would like to share with you all, how I understand the love of Jesus.
First Jesus takes the initiative and comes closer to me, so that I may know Him and love Him. Thus through His diverse little revelations He helps me to discover Him and He becomes close to Him. All human relationship is built by this proximity and accessibility.
Second aspect is knowing him and allowing Him to be known. He has facilitated this process and makes me to feel that He accepts me ‘as I am’ and wishes that I too known Him and accept Him as He is.
In this relationship I am configured in Christ in such a manner that for others I become the veritable Christ. It is no more I, but Christ lives in me, says Saint Paul. My relationship with Christ transforms me and through me every human encounter becomes ‘de facto’ a divine encounter.
Naturally this kind of relationship will give much fruit, and certainly they will be perceived as a divine fruit. It is no more a human work, but a divine marvel to be discovered and cherished. It is a long process that Jesus has initiated in us and we are called with His grace to continue this divine mission entrusted to us.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
Love encompasses the other commandments, by Ephrem the Syrian (306-373 AD)
"This is my commandment." Have you then only one precept? This is sufficient, even if it is unique and so great. Nevertheless he also said, "Do not kill" (Matthew 19:18) because the one who loves does not kill. He said, "Do not steal," because the one who loves does even more—he gives. He said, "Do not lie," for the one who loves speaks the truth, against falsehood. "I give you a new commandment" (John 13:14). If you have not understood what "This is my commandment" means, let the apostle be summoned as interpreter and say, "The goal of his commandment is love" (1 Timothy 1:5). What is its binding force? It is that of which [the Lord] spoke, "Whatever you want others to do to you, you should do also" (Matthew 7:12)."Love one another" in accordance with this measure, "as I have loved you." That is not possible, for you are our Lord who loves your servants. But we who are equals, how can we love one another as you have loved us? Nevertheless, he has said it... His love is that he has called us his friends. If we were to give our life for you, would our love be equal to yours?... How then can what he said be explained, "As I have loved you"? "Let us die for each other," he said. As for us, we do not even want to live for one another! "If I, who am your Lord and God, die for you, how much more should you die for one another." (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON TATIAN'S DIATESSARON 19.13)
«This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you»
Fr. Carles ELÍAS i Cao
Today, our Lord exhorts us to fraternal love: «Love one another as I have loved you» (Jn 15:12), that is to say, as you have seen me loving and you will still see me love. Jesus speaks to you as a friend, for He has told you that his Father calls you, that He wants you to become an apostle, and that He expects you to bear fruit, a fruit that is manifested through love. St. John Crysostom affirms: «If love would be spread all over, an infinite goodness would be born out of it».
To give love amounts to create life. Spouses know it well, for they love each other, they make a reciprocal donation and they assume the responsibility of becoming parents by accepting, at the same time, the abnegation and self-denial of their time and their own being in favour of those they must take care of, must protect, must educate and, in short, must form as persons. Missionaries know it too, when they offer their life for the Gospel, with the same Christian spirit of sacrifice and abnegation. And friars, priests and bishops also know it, and with them all of Jesus' disciples who commit themselves to our Savior.
A little before, Jesus already told you which the requirements for love and bearing fruit are: «Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit» (Jn 12:24). Jesus invites you to lose your life, to deliver it to Him without any fear, to willingly die, if need be, to be able to love your brother with Christ's love, with supernatural love. Jesus invites you to attain an operative, benefactor and concrete love; this is how apostle James understood it when he said: «Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed’, but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead» (2:15-17).