Jesus said to his disciples:
“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 may be in you
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”
There is so much about this particular passage from the Gospel of John that should give Christians a sense of authentic hope. It is a proclamation from the very Words of God Himself, that it is not us who chooses Him…but He Who chooses us! In speaking to His disciples, Jesus reveals to them that out of the goodness of love; which is God Himself, He has created all men to experience His joy. It is a revelation not only intended for those disciples standing near Him…but for all men who would dare call themselves disciples of this same Lord. It is a message intended for us. It should cause our hearts to spark and ignite in a flame of love so bright that no one would ever doubt our vocation… That no one should ever see us and not want a bit of whatever it is that makes us bright. But unfortunately it is not like that. We are marked with the heavy stain of original sin and it shows. We have the smudges of doubt to prove it.
Just think. Christ has just told His disciples that they are...(in essence…that we are)...no longer slaves, because He has revealed to them what the Father, the Master, is doing…He calls them...He calls us…friends… He has bridged the gap between us and the far off God of the old… That stern Father Whom the prophets could not even approach without fear and trembling.
He has removed the distance…. Jesus has given us an intimacy with God the Father that was missing from the old way of worship. If we look in the Old Testament, we find that the great Prophets were called servants of God…Moses…David, Joshua, Elijah, Enoch…they were are prophets of the Lord…and they were all pleased to be called servants of God.
But Jesus, He has come to unite our bond with the Lord in a much closer way. By dying on the cross, by “laying down his life” for us, Christ gave us the greatest gift that one could give…He gave us an intimacy with God the Father who is always there for us. Welcoming us…forgiving us…consoling us. He has opened the door to His Father’s heart … A place where we can find comfort and strength any time we need it. And even though this is still a place of His Divine Justice…. there flows from it a river of His Mercy which washes over all who seek it. It is an offer made for all men…but we must be willing to accept it.
Jesus came to reveal the Will of His Father… He was sent to bring us…each of us… to reside with Him… and He with us….in our very heart… our very soul! He came to spread this message…this call, to our new life with Christ. It is a call to recognize that as Christians we are called to experience the true joy that comes with this type of intimacy with the Lord… it is a deep down, all the way to the center of our hearts, kind of joy. As a follower of Christ, we are reminded that we are called to share in this joy. We are chosen to share in this Love.
Because He loves us and wants us to be with Him forever, He has given us this ‘key’. He has revealed it to us in this one command… this One little command…that is so grande, that to obey it, will bring us our eternal happiness. He tells us, “to love one another”… That’s it. So simple and complete. But we can’t do it on our own. We need God. We need His goodness and His grace. We need Him in all things. Every single moment. Every single day. Which ever way we want to read it… It’s a Truth that stays the same. A Truth that doesn’t change. It is constant and unchanging, to the very end… It Is God. Who is Love.
So yes, I guess, that’s all we ever really need, is Love.