Jesus warns the Apostles they must keep the Commandments and love one another. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Charity so he can live a life of charity and receive Christ’s joy and by pursuing the Virtue of Perseverance so he can heroically persevere to keep Christ’s commandments.
6th Week of Easter – Sunday – Cycle B – Jn 15:9-17
Jesus continues His Farewell Discourse (Jn 13:31-16:33) during Holy Week, preparing the Apostles for their mission after His departure. After teaching The Vine and Branches, Jesus now reveals that to remain in union with Him, a man must keep the commandments to receive Christ’s love, allowing a man to excel in self-sacrificing love.
Jesus remains perfectly connected to God the Father’s love by perfectly keeping the Father’s commandments and if men are to remain connected to Jesus, they must keep Jesus’ commandments: His commandments include all His teachings of the New Covenant in the Gospels which He summarizes in the New Commandment to love (Jn 13:34). Because of His perfect unity with God the Father and Holy Spirit, Jesus has divine joy; Jesus promises that men who abide in Him by keeping His commandments will personally experience the fullness of His joy.
Those who abide in Jesus, can aspire to become “friends” with Him. Searing the need into men’s minds for obedience in keeping His commandments, Jesus insists that if men wish to be friends with Him, they must keep His commandments. While keeping the commandments in daily life is a lower requirement than laying down one’s life for another man, all of the Apostles, except John, will be martyred for Jesus; John will suffer significant persecution. While Jesus offers friendship to the Apostles, He remains their King and Master, making it clear that He has chosen them, commands them to spread the Gospel (bear fruit) to the world and demands that they love one another. Further clarifying His authority and superiority over them, Jesus promises the Apostles their prayer petitions to the Father will be granted if they ask in Jesus’ name.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by Jesus, the Son of God, who comes to establish Divine Charity among men: Son of the Father, Jesus enters the world in the Incarnation to reveal the love of God the Father; Divine Prophet, Jesus reveals that the ultimate test of a man’s love is the willingness to “lay down one’s life” for another; Divine Charity, Jesus gives His greatest and final commandment, to “Love one another”, and then demonstrates the perfection of love by laying down His life for the salvation of mankind, so that men might enter into His Joy.
Live a life of Charity to receive Christ’s joy
Realize: To experience the fullness of joy, men must remain in Jesus’ love by keeping His New Commandment of Charity, a commandment to deeply love God and neighbor (Jn 13:34) by living a life of holiness, being devoted to God and performing many Works of Mercy out of love for others.
Believe: Renew your commitment to Charity (CCC 1822-1829).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Charity, help me build the Virtue of Charity so I can love You with all my soul, mind and body and generously love my family, friends and many others by performing many Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy each week.
Heroically persevere to keep Christ’s commandments
Realize: Jesus makes a binding conditional statement about those whom He calls His friends: “You are My friends if you do what I command you”; every Catholic man who aspires to be recognized by Jesus as His “friend” must strive with all his power to keep all of Jesus’ commandments.
Believe: Recommit to keep Christ’s Commandments (CCC 2052-2082).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Fortitude, help me grow in the Virtue of Perseverance (a part of Fortitude) so I tirelessly seek to keep Your Commandments and always immediately receive the Sacrament of Penance when I frequently fail.