Love: God’s Mandate

John 15: 12-17

Acts 15:22-31 / Psa 57

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

The fruit of His love we must bear

That the gifts from God we’ll receive;

This Good News of Christ we must share,

So that others too may 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 you. 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

To love others is to be obedient to the Divine Law of God. To withhold acts of charity, words of kindness, or forgiveness for wrongs done is to 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 fail to see that the reason why they cannot establish genuine intimate relationships with others (including their own family) is because of their attachment to worldly things.

No amount of money, possessions, or power can ever satisfy our search for life’s meaning. Love alone is the answer. And our God manifests His great love to His children in mysterious ways that at first we cannot understand. Love 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.

Jesus also showed His love by sharing the Good News (“everything that I have heard from the Father.”) We are therefore commanded to love in the same way by sharing our faith with others, which is our common vocation as Christians. Loving others means standing up and declaring our faith in Jesus, our Risen Lord!

Finally, the mandate of love requires us to “go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” The fruit of our efforts is simply to become Christlike, to imitate the character of Jesus, His compassion and forgiving quality, His humility, steadfastness, and His total trust in the Father. This is what Jesus asks us to bear, and we can do it by means of prayer. Let us pray constantly to God that He may give us the greatest fruit: becoming Christlike.

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

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