Thursday, May 22, 2014

Remain in My Love

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter

“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.  Remain in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.  “I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.”  John 15:9-11

Father, help us to act like Jesus even when those around us make it difficult. 

In his 32 years on earth, Jesus said much that is not recorded.  What got recorded and passed along makes it even more important.  Much has been written about what is written about what Jesus said and when he said it.  His first public preaching.  The Nazareth manifesto.  The last words on the cross.
Today, we reflect upon the message which is literally and figuratively at the heart of the Last Supper Discourse – that extended and final conversation with his closest friends before being arrested, tried and executed.  The Discourse is the longest uninterrupted passage we have from Jesus and it comes immediately after he washes the feet of his disciples as an example of the most humble kind of love and service.  Overall, the passage stretches over all or parts of five chapters in John’s Gospel.  Today’s reading is almost right in the very center of these 125 verses most significant passage.
In Jesus’ first public preaching, he picked up on John the Baptist’s very words and said, “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.”  The modern skeptic might react in several ways: So what? Who cares? What’s in it for me? Change to what?
Today, the answer is revealed.  Change to love of others as humbly as Jesus shows he loves us.  When we love others as Jesus loved us, we get a share of the love of Jesus and the Father.  When we love others as Jesus loved us, we stay in God’s good graces.  When we love others as Jesus loved us, we start to open the door to that promised land of the Kingdom of God.

Think of the most challenging person with whom you have a relationship.  Before you react in any way to what they do or say in your life today, think about this reading.  “Remain in my love.”  Let that guide your reaction.   

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