The world, seeing unity, mutual love, believes in Jesus
“This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12). Surely, you would like to know when Jesus said these words of love. It was just before starting His Passion , when he delivered a farewell speech that constitutes His testament. Imagine, then, how important these words are. If no one ever forgets the words spoken by a father before he dies, how much more those spoken by a God! So, take them very seriously and try to understand them deeply.
Illustrative photo: Wesley Almeida / cancaonova.com
“This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12). Jesus is about to die and everything he says reflects this coming event. His imminent departure requires, above all, the solution of a problem: how can he remain among his own to continue the Church? You know that Jesus is present in sacramental actions, for example, in the Mass Eucharist . Well, Jesus is also present where mutual love is lived.
He said: “Where two or three are gathered in my name (and this is possible where there is mutual love), I am among them” (Mt 18,20). Therefore, he can remain effectively present in the community, whose life is based on mutual love. And, through the community, it can continue to reveal itself to the world, to influence the world. Isn’t it wonderful? Don’t you feel like living this love immediately, together with the Christians who are close to you? John, in whose Gospel we find this Word of Life, sees in reciprocal love the commandment par excellence of the Church, whose vocation is precisely to be community, to be unity.
“This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12). In fact, Jesus says: “By this all will recognize that you are my disciples: in the love you have for one another” (cf. Jn 13:35). Therefore, if you want to discover the true sign of authenticity of Christ’s disciples, if you want to know the distinctiveness of Christians , you must look for it in the testimony of the reciprocal love lived. Christians are recognized by this sign. And if he is absent, the world will no longer recognize Jesus’ disciples in Christians.
“This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12). Mutual love generates unity. But what does the unit do? Jesus also says: “May they be one, (…) so that the world may believe that you sent me” (Jn 17,21). Unity, revealing the presence of Christ, convinces the world to follow him. The world, seeing unity, mutual love, believes in Jesus.
“This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12). In the same farewell speech, Jesus says that this commandment is “his”. It is yours and therefore has a special importance for it. You should not regard it simply as a norm, rule or commandment like the others. With him, Jesus wants to reveal a way of life to him, wants to show him how to guide his existence. Early Christians placed this commandment as the basis of their own lives .
Peter said: “First of all, have a constant love for one another” (cf. 1Pt 4,8). Before working, before studying, before going to mass, before any activity, check if mutual love reigns between you and those who live with you. If so, on that basis, everything has value. Without this foundation, nothing pleases God.
“This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you” (Jn 15:12). Jesus tells you that this commandment is “new”: “I give you a new commandment”. What do you mean by that? That this commandment was not known? No. “New” means done for “new times”. So, what is it about? You see, Jesus died for us. So he loved us to the fullest extent. But what love was yours? It certainly wasn’t like ours. His love was and is a “divine” love. He said: “As the Father loved me, so I loved you” (Jn 15.9).
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Therefore, he loved us with the same love that exists between Him and the Father. And it is with that same love that we must love each other to act out the “new” commandment. However, you, as a human being, do not have a love like that. But rejoice because, as a Christian, you receive it. And who gives you that love? The Holy Spirit, who infuses you into your heart, into the hearts of all the faithful.
Therefore, there is an affinity between the Father, the son and us Christians, due to the divine love that we have in common. It is this love that inserts us into the Trinity. It is this love of God that makes us his children . It is through this love that heaven and earth are connected, as if by a great current. It is through this love that the Christian community is brought into the realm of God and the divine reality lives on earth, where the faithful love each other. Don’t you find all this divinely beautiful? And doesn’t the Christian life seem extremely fascinating to you?