Homily for the sixth Sunday of Easter - Year B - Jn. 15:9-17


by

Canon Dr. Daniel Meynen
 
 

" «As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.


" «This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another.» "




Homily:


" «As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.» "


There is one thing everyone can do: we can love God and his Son Jesus, and we can love our neighbor - that is, any person who is near us - as we love ourselves. Everyone can do this, for all that is needed is a movement of the soul, a movement which does not require effort, but merely a small act of the will. All this is easy to do, for it corresponds to our very nature, as God wanted it to be. God created us to love, He created us so that we might all love each other with only one heart, one soul. God created us so that, one day, we might receive within us his Son Jesus, and, through Him, all the Love he is in person as God, the Son and Image of the Father. "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you."


"In the Heart of the Church, my Mother, I will be Love." This is how Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus defined her Mission, as she understood it in the Holy Spirit. For she was not able to fast three times a week, nor to frequently make night-long vigils. But to do everything she did out of love for God and the Church, especially for priests, this was something she could do, and she did it in a sublime, heroic way, to such a degree that she became a Saint and was recognized as such by the authority of the Church.


Nothing is easier than love. In order to love, all that is needed is an act of the will, an act by which we make the very Will of God our own. Now, the Will of God is wholly Love: there is nothing in it which is not the very Love of God. To adhere to the divine Will is thus the most attractive and marvellous thing there is. To do the Will of God, to carry out his commandments, that is what unites us with God in Love! "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love."


" «These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.» "


If love is an easy thing, a simple act of our will, love may, nonetheless, from time to time require of us a very strong and exalted will, strong enough to withstand any trial. The love of Jesus for his Father, that love which serves as the model for our love of God and neighbor, was so strong, so exalted, that Jesus realized and manifested this love by giving his own life for us on the Wood of the Cross. "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Jesus said it, and Jesus did it... Are we ready to do as he did? If so, so much the better! Let us ask the Lord to help us to persevere in this state of soul and spirit. But if not, then let us take action: it is time! Let us ask the Lord for the grace of perfect love. Let us not forget what he has just told us: "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."


" «You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.» "


To love God, to do his Will, even at the price of our own life, does not make one a slave, nor even a servant. He who loves God and does his will is a friend of God, and not only a friend, but a close personal friend: he who loves God, knows God. The Love of God is a Love of Knowledge. God knows him, and he knows God. This is the perfect state of union between the Creator and his creature. It is the state of eternal bliss, a state which can already be anticipated in this life through the Eucharist. He who, in communion with the Son of God, wholly gives himself, including his own life, to his Creator and Master, is a friend of God and knows God. In communion, the Christian who offers himself to the Father, as Christ offered himself, truly exercises his baptismal priesthood and the following words of Jesus may be applied to him, words which are usually only addressed to the priests who received the sacrament of Holy Orders: "No longer do I call you servants, but friends."


" «You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. This I command you, to love one another.» "


"You did not choose me, but I chose you." These words of Christ apply to each one of us, we who believe in him, the Savior of the world. Whether it be by our priesthood, or by our baptism and our confirmation in Christ, each one of us was chosen by the Son of God to be an adoptive son of the Father in the Spirit. Each one of us has a mission to fulfill: that of spreading forth the Love of God throughout the world for the glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. If we love God and our neighbor, then we will bear fruit and the Love of God will overcome Evil: "Father... deliver us from Evil. Amen!"


In celebrating the Eucharist today, let us ask Mary, the Mother of Jesus, to teach us how to know and to love Jesus. May Mary make us Apostles of Love, for the Glory of the Father!



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