We are approaching closer to the feast of Ascension and also the feast of Pentecost. All apparitions after the resurrection of the Lord demand us of one single engagement: to remain in my love. The encounter of Jesus with Saul who heard, "Why are you persecuting me," shows us this dwelling of Jesus in the hearts of believers. I am with you until the end of the world. This abiding of Jesus in the hearts of men of good will resembles the same dwelling of God in Jesus. As the Father abides in me, I abide in you.
This divine abide expresses itself better in love. How did God love Jesus Christ? The life of Jesus on earth reveals to us the unity of the Trinity and how God has accompanied him all his life, from the incarnation to the end of his life on earth. We discover it in the resurrection and in the ascension in an explicit and implicit way. Even on the Cross, God was there to receive the Life of His Son, for Jesus said, 'In your hands I entrust my Spirit.' God was present where his Son was, even in the pain of humanity.
How did Jesus love his Father? In doing the will of his Father, Jesus loved him. It was his joy and his happiness. He said to his parents, 'Do you not know that I should be in my Father's house?' By staying with his Father, always consulting his will, Jesus showed us his love for his Father. Jesus was a faithful son, who could surrender to the divine will, even though he had the choice to make.
How are we to love Jesus and to remain in his love? Jesus Himself told us, if you listen to my words and put them into practice you are my friends. The purpose of this listening and practice is joy. May my joy be in you and may this joy abide in you. On Holy Thursday we heard the Gospel of St. John 13, Jesus loved his disciples and He loved them with a perfect love.
This divine love is not exclusive but inclusive. The first Christian community found it difficult to accept the Gentiles as the disciples of the Lord. Peter discovered that this love is universal and even the others have received the Holy Spirit. It is necessary to discover this love of God, not only for us and in us, but also for others and in others. This love comes from God and will bring us all to this God who loves us.
This is the new commandment. "Love one another as I have loved you. Though it is an old commandment, the novelty lies in the way Jesus loved us. How did Jesus love us? He tells us that He has chosen us, consecrated us, and raised us as His children. We are no longer simple servants or disciples, but his friends. We are his friends because he told us everything, everything his Father told him. What an honour did the Lord grant us by this elevation? He made the sinners as His friends.
We become Christian by the same love of God. We learn in baptism how much God has loved us in his Son. We are asked to give fruit of this baptime and learn to love and forgive ourselves generously, as Jesus loves us. By the same baptism we are invited to work so that others also become friends of Jesus. First of all, become friends ourselves to Jesus and invite all others to join us, so that the joy we have received may fill the whole world and this world will be perfumed by this divine love. Have a wonderful Sunday.