Liturgical day: Thursday 5th of Easter
Gospel text (Jn 15:9-11):
Jesus said to his disciples, "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; remain in my love. You will remain in my love if you keep my commandments, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. I have told you all this, that my own joy may be in you and your joy may be complete".
"As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you"
Today, we hear again the intimate confidence Jesus made last Holy Thursday: "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you" (Jn 15:9). The Father's love for the Son is immense, tender, dear. We can read it in the Book of Proverbs, when He affirms that long before initiating his deeds "Then was I beside him as his craftsman, and I was his delight day by day, playing before him all the while" (Pr 8:30). This is how He loves us and, prophetically announcing it in the same book, He adds: "Playing on the surface of his earth; and I found delight in the sons of men" (Pr 8:31).
The Father loves the Son, and Jesus tells us so: "And He that sent me is with me: the Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him" (Jn 8:29). The Father loudly proclaimed it in the Jordan, when He says: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased" (Mk 1:11) and, later on, in Mount Tabor: "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him" (Mk 9:7).
Jesus has replied, "Abbà", Pater! Now He reveals us, "As the Father has loved me, so I love you". And what shall we do? To stay indeed by his love, to abide by his commandments, to love His Father's Will. Is not this the example He gives us? "I always keep my Father's commandments and remain in his love".
But we, who are weak, fickle, cowards and —why not just admit it— even wicked at times, shall we then lose his friendship forever? No, He will not allow us to be tempted well over our own forces! And, if we ever fail to abide by his commandments, let us ask him the grace of quickly coming back to him, as the prodigal son to the Father's house. And of being able to receive the Sacrament of Penance and be forgiven our sins. "I love you —Jesus tells us—. I have told you all this, that my own joy may be in you and your joy may be complete" (Jn 15:9-11).
Comment: Fr. Lluís RAVENTÓS i Artés (Tarragona, Spain) www.evangeli.net