Being a friend of Jesus. Joh 15 26-16,4
Being a friend of Jesus
We were each brought up in a family community or a social home. And so, each one of us was obligated to keep specific rules or house rules that were mandated. We all had to submit to a particular order – we had to stay in that order.
Today, Jesus calls each of us, “Abide in my love. I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (Jn 15:10n). In the word abide, we might say that Jesus seems to be saying to us: submit.
Today, it is lovely to see how Jesus calls us to abide in his love. Jesus is already clearly indicating to the disciples his departure – he is going to the Father through death. Jesus has gone to prepare the way for us. He is the Way to the Father, but he is also the Way and the Life. God’s truth, then, is not a doctrine but a person. Each individual will grasp this truth to the extent that they can be captivated and transformed by it.
The reality of the joy that Jesus wants to infuse into our hearts should be confident in his love. This confidence will stir us to the fact that we have here the one who laid down his life on the cross, freed us from sin, and brought us into his light. Jesus wants to show us that joy is a gift that we feel vividly in the moments of being filled with his grace. We must realize that we cannot live without God and his commands. Today, Jesus wants us to give ourselves entirely to Him by keeping His commandments.
In her words, Mother Teresa urges us, “Joy must be a fundamental feature of our lives. We may have nothing to give, but we will always be able to give the joy that flows from a heart that loves God. Joy is always contagious. Whenever you go to the sick, be full of joy.”
So too, if we do the commands of Jesus, we experience joy and peace and can say, as St. Augustine said, “I believe in whom I have believed.” Jesus wants to give each one of us his love, but it is clear that he wants us to fulfill his request – to keep what he has commanded us. We, too, want to get something, but without a condition, without having to do something. Let’s look at Jesus: he had to keep what God commanded him to keep. He, too, was `submitted’ to God. Only he who abides in God will be filled with joy.
Every day we should ask ourselves: “`Have I fulfilled all that God wanted of me? Have I kept His commandments?” We need to turn to the Lord every day for help, to remember His commands. Jesus Christ came down from heaven to us humans and allowed Himself to be imprisoned and condemned to death so that we might be freed from our sins and guilt. Jesus wants a radical decision from us. Many times the apostles also faced the question of judgment. They were the ones who made the first serious decisions for the future of the Church. After all, no one has greater love than the one who sent me. Yes, only God is the greatest friend of us all. We need to trust Him and turn to Him in our weaknesses, and only then will the knowledge of His faithfulness grow in our hearts, and this knowledge will change us.
A particular mother who had a large family had to take her picture. She looked very solemn. But the photographer said to her: “You better smile.” The mother tried to do so. However, the photographer kept saying, “Don’t look stern and sad, as if your house is on fire.” And as she struggled to look more pleasant, the photographer added, “Don’t think of your domestic worries but think of the honor and well-being of being the mother of a family. Think of the reward God will give you one day.”
Click! And done. “Thank you!” She exclaimed: “But I’m ten years younger here when she saw the photo!” “Not at all, but you have a joyful look, which you should always have because you have every reason to be.” These words stuck in the brave lady’s mind. They were repeated to her every morning and evening when she worked and rested. Her husband said to her a few days later, “You seem younger every day. Are you enjoying something, or have you found some `wish’?” The man was right – a mother’s cheerfulness is the source of true family well-being.
We can add that following Christ and abide by his love is to be the happiest person. Only the person who experiences Christ’s love daily can bear witness to it in his life.
Lord Jesus, fill our interior with your peace and grant us to keep your commands forever. Fill our hearts with your love so that we may give your joy to all those around us. Amen.
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