Greatest Love

John 15: 12-17
Acts 15: 22-31 / Psa 57

This is my commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.
(John 15:12)

Whatever we ask in Jesus’ name,
He promised God the Father will give,
As long as in His love we remain,
And in God’s covenant we believe.

Jesus said, “This is my commandment: Love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This I command you: Love one another.” (John 15:12-17)

Reflection

In the nine verses of John 15, (9 to17) Jesus mentions the word ‘love’ nine times. He also keeps repeating the word “remain”. His clear message is, we must always remain in His love. Our Lord can’t seem to emphasize enough how important this position is. As a rule, to love others is not an option, if we are to be followers of Jesus Christ. Love, in this case, is not an emotion or feeling (like romance), but a commitment of the will. Jesus proved His great love by laying his life on the cross for us. However, He does not expect us to literally lay down our life for anybody. We can do this by sacrificing our own needs for the sake of others who may have a greater need. An example of this is what every blood galloner/donor knows: to give an ounce of life (donate blood) so that others may live. We believe this is the noblest form of giving and expression of selfless love. An old classmate who is afflicted with leukemia needs a periodic transfusion of platelets and packed red blood cells, usually before and after his chemotherapy treatments. So far, his friends and relatives have been able to secure more than 24 units of the precious fluid for him. We don’t know how long his battle for life will take, but love has definitely sustained his and his loving wife’s struggles.

To love others is to be obedient to the Divine Law of God. And it is not only in withholding acts of charity, but words of kindness, or forgiveness for wrongs done that we disobey this most fundamental law of God’s love. What makes us love people less is when we love the things of this world more. Jesus said, “The world hates you because you do not belong to this world.” (Jn.15:19) So many of the so-called privileged set in this world do not see that the reason why they cannot establish genuine intimate relationships with others is because of their attachment to worldly things.

No amount of money, possessions, or power can ever satisfy or justify our search for life’s meaning. Love alone is the answer. When oil billionaire Paul Getty Sr. was asked what the secret of his success in life was, his answer stunned the interviewer: “Success? I don’t consider my life a success. Can you call three divorced marriages a success?” For all his billions, the tens of thousands he employed, and the millions of lives he touched by the power he produced, he considered his life a failure.

The billboard that the Mormons put up says it so well: “No success in life can ever compensate for failure in the home.”

Father God, Source of all love, let all our thoughts, words and actions be guided by Your love; for without it, life has no meaning, and nothing else in this world matters. Amen.

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