A Brotherhood Kind of Love

John 15: 9-17
Acts 1: 15-17. 20-26 / Ps 113: 1-8

This is my commandment: Love one another.
(John 15:17)

What joy to heed the Lord’s command,
To love, here we have understood;
For many decades, it will stand
The test of time, our brotherhood.

“As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: 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 is my commandment: Love one another.” (John 15: 9-17)

Reflection

The command to love one another that Jesus is enjoining His disciples to follow is different from that which He preached in the Gospel of Matthew: “Love your enemies…” (Mt.5:44), where His message is that this kind of loving leads to perfection, “as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt.5:48). In today’s Gospel, this commandment of love is exclusive only for His followers — for the benefit of their relationships with one another — and not encompassing the world at large. As Jesus stated in a previous chapter, “Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another” (Jn. 13:35).

This is the love that we experience in our renewal — inexplicable bonds of love even among total strangers who just happen to be members of the same Brotherhood. Whenever we come together in our worship assemblies, teaching nights, or breakfast fellowships, the atmosphere of joy is so palpable that it can only be the presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst. “…my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete” (Jn. 15:11).

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.” Most, if not all of us in our Brotherhood were sponsored to join, and not out of our own initiative or volition. God handpicked us thru our sponsors. Those He did not choose or appoint did not last, for some reason or other. But those who have stayed on thru the years have produced much fruit, sharing the Word of God to other chapters and outreaches, and even helping establish new outreaches in other regions.

To love is the divine law of God, but unlike men’s laws, God’s law is not a burden at all, because this law was given out of love. God expects us to obey His law out of our love for Him, just as He gave this law out of His love for us. Clearly, we cannot separate God’s love from God’s law. As the psalmist wrote, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2).

Your law of love is perfect, Lord, for it has converted many souls. May our testimony of Your love bring others to Your fold. May Your commands be our constant source of joy. Amen.

Comments are closed.