Jesus warns the Apostles they must keep the Commandments to abide in His love. 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 Piety so he can build a habit of drawing close to God many times each day.
5th Week of Easter – Thursday – Jn 15:9-11
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, an allegory describing the power given to those who remain in union with Jesus, He now reveals the mysterious power is love, and a man must keep the commandments to receive Christ’s love.
Jesus (the vine) comes into the world to draw men to God (bear fruit). Men (the branches) must remain attached to Jesus (the vine) to build His Church/the Kingdom (bear fruit), and the Father will continually challenge (prune) them to become even more effective. Like life-giving sap flows through plant vines to the branches and make fruit, the love of God the Father flows through Jesus to men who remain spiritually connected to Him and makes them fruitful. To help men abide in Him in a supernatural way, Jesus has fed the Apostles with His Body and Blood in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
To stay connected to Jesus, the source of love for men, men must imitate Jesus’ example of keeping the commandments. As He established earlier in the washing of the Apostles’ feet (Jn 13:15), Jesus is the model for self-giving love. Jesus remains perfectly connected to God the Father’s love by perfectly keeping the Father’s commandments. Like Jesus, for men to remain connected to the love of the Father and the Son, men 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 the 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.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be grateful that the Son of the Father and the perfection of Joy, gives men the mysterious “key” for living with lasting joy and happiness: men who live as Jesus commanded, as He Himself demonstrated by perfectly keeping the commandments of His Father, will remain in the love of God and will supernaturally receive complete joy (Jesus Himself).
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.
Build a habit of drawing close to God many times a day
Realize: When a Catholic man fails to pray, he fails to abide in Jesus, losing the ability to keep God’s commandments, and the ability to love, and thus fails to be able to experience the true joy that can only come to a Catholic man who stays close to Jesus.
Believe: Reflect upon The Battle of Prayer (CCC 2725-2745).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me grow in the Virtue of Piety (a part of Justice) so I have an unbreakable habit of prayer, continually seeking and receiving Your guidance and strength in my daily life; help me to regularly lead my family in prayer.