Jesus said to his disciples, «As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; remain in my love. You will remain in my love if you keep my commandments, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. I have told you all this, that my own joy may be in you and your joy may be complete».
The word ‘love’ is so vulgarised in the contemporary world, that many of us find difficult to use it in our ordinary communication. Without entering into the details and meanings, I would like to invite you all to look at the essential of today’s gospel reading. ‘That my own joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.’
Many of us search this joy in our life, where the eternal peace remain deeply anchored. How to have this joy, particularly the ‘joy’ of Christ? To know this, we should look into Jesus and He says to us that He kept faithfully the commandment of the His Father, or rather tried to fulfil the Will of the Father.
It is here that we can try to accomplish in a simple way. Just ask the Lord, what he would do in a particular given time and how will He act in a given situation. Jesus always did, though sometime He found it difficult. It is in this total surrender to the divine will, even though we may not understand it now (like Mary and the disciples), that we will find the joy and His joy in its perfection. Since God is filled with goodness, our total surrender to this goodness, will give us in return the goodness with multiplications.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
Joy in rejoicing over us, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
"And what else is Christ's joy in us except that he is pleased to rejoice over us? And what is this joy of ours that he says is to be made full, but our having fellowship with him?... His joy, therefore, in us is the grace he has bestowed on us, and that is also our joy. But he rejoiced over this joy even from eternity when he chose us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). Nor can we rightly say that his joy was not full. For God's joy was never at any time imperfect. But that joy of his was not in us. For we, in whom that joy could exist, had as yet no existence. And even when our existence commenced, it began not to be in him. But in him it always was, who in the infallible truth of his own foreknowledge rejoiced that we should yet be his own. Accordingly, he had a joy over us that was already full when he rejoiced in foreknowing and foreordaining us. And there could hardly be any fear intermingling in that joy of his that might imply a possible failure in what he foreknew would be done by himself." (excerpt from TRACTATES ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 83.1)
«As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you»
Fr. Lluís RAVENTÓS i Artés
Today, we hear again the intimate confidence Jesus made last Holy Thursday: «As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you» (Jn 15:9). The Father's love for the Son is immense, tender, dear. We can read it in the Book of Proverbs, when He affirms that long before initiating his deeds «Then was I beside him as his craftsman, and I was his delight day by day, playing before him all the while» (Pr 8:30). This is how He loves us and, prophetically announcing it in the same book, He adds: «Playing on the surface of his earth; and I found delight in the sons of men» (Pr 8:31).
The Father loves the Son, and Jesus tells us so: «And He that sent me is with me: the Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him» (Jn 8:29). The Father loudly proclaimed it in the Jordan, when He says: «You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased» (Mk 1:11) and, later on, in Mount Tabor: «This is my beloved Son. Listen to him» (Mk 9:7).
Jesus has replied, «Abbà», Pater! Now He reveals us, «As the Father has loved me, so I love you». And what shall we do? To stay indeed by his love, to abide by his commandments, to love His Father's Will. Is not this the example He gives us? «I always keep my Father's commandments and remain in his love».
But we, who are weak, fickle, cowards and —why not just admit it— even wicked at times, shall we then lose his friendship forever? No, He will not allow us to be tempted well over our own forces! And, if we ever fail to abide by his commandments, let us ask him the grace of quickly coming back to him, as the prodigal son to the Father's house. And of being able to receive the Sacrament of Penance and be forgiven our sins. «I love you —Jesus tells us—. I have told you all this, that my own joy may be in you and your joy may be complete» (Jn 15:9-11).