9 I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.11 I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.12 This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you.13 No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.14 You are my friends, if you do what I command you.15 I shall no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know the master’s business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father.16 You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name.17 My command to you is to love one another.10 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.
Reflection. God is truly love. Today’s Gospel reading is a reminder of what God wants for us, and what we need to do, to truly remain in His presence. As practicing Christians, we can remain friends with the Father, knowing that the goal of our lives is to be what God intended us to be. Loving, compassionate people. We can show forth what it means to be Christian, even in these times, by loving and caring for each other, being examples of what God put us on the Earth to do. We are not experiments of the Creator, but examples, of what God intended. All we have to do is look back in history of all the Saints, and realize that this is obtainable. All those Saints in the past have one thing in common- love. We show love through our compassion and servitude of others, especially those that are not as fortunate as us. We should take this scripture and put it to use, caring for the infirm, for the poor, and for the oppressed. We should never forget to pray, and pray often, keeping in mind those that are less fortunate as us.
Saint Padre Pio said, “Yes, the coincidences are coincidences. But there is Somebody up there who arranges those coincidences.” We must keep in mind the power of what God puts into our lives, and the people he puts us around. The poor when we walk by, the friends that need our prayers and help, the sick that we know need our help. These truly are not coincidences, but tests of our faith. We must realize the importance of why these people either come into our lives, or into our discussions. We must be examples of God’s love, and not turn away from things that might be inconvenient or just happen-stance. We must better understand what it means to love, and to serve, and never use it to our advantage. Humility, compassion, servitude; these are all examples of God’s love. We were born for this purpose, and for this purpose we should strive. Wealth, power, intelligence, these are all Earthly things, that if fortunate enough to possess, we must use towards God’s example of love, and not for our own selfishness. As stated above, “No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.” But whom and what are our friends? I say to you that whomever comes across your path should be as such. There is no purpose in negativity, no purpose in hate, no purpose in jealousy, no purpose in desire. These are all traits of evil that can lead you astray to God’s true purpose for us- to be better versions of ourselves, and to love, unconditionally- even for those that do not love us, or wish to better ourselves. Teach our children this love, for they are our future, they are examples of what our Lord intended, because they love unconditionally, without the lure of evil and temptation. Teach them to turn away from these things, and teach them to love, for this is truly His purpose. Pray for this love, and show forth this love, through Christ’s example. God Bless! ~CJA