I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.
Jesus took His disciples into the love of the Father. It is the same love that the Father has for Him! This love is now open to the disciples.
“Remain in my love” says Jesus to the disciples. This precious love is not to be disturbed, it is to be and remain the everlasting bond between Him and His disciples.
The Lord also tells us how this can happen.
First he says, “If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love”. Without this condition, the love between Jesus and us cannot develop. While God always loves us and seeks us out, we keep the door closed when we sin, and His love cannot enter us that way. Only when we repent can love enter more deeply into our hearts.
The first step to live consciously in this love is therefore to keep His commandments. The spirit of the fear of the Lord leads us not to violate His commandments.
When this step is taken, the joy of God enters: the joy of being able to receive His love; the joy of living in truth; the joy of having discovered the deeper meaning of existence; the joy that the Lord rejoices over us. This makes our hearts happy!
Jesus wants us disciples – and all people are to become His disciples – to be at home in the same love and to share this love with other people.
The Lord opens up to us how infinitely great this love can become, with the Word: “No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.” (Jn 15:13) That is exactly what the Lord did!
But this is not only thinking of martyrdom, but also of service for one’s brother. This is also true when, on the whole, one no longer lives one’s life for oneself, but puts it at the service of God and people.
Jesus calls His disciples to this wonderful friendship. They are not simply recipients of orders or even servants. No! they are called to friendship and thus accepted into His heart! He has also included them in His mission and shares with them what He has heard from the Father (cf. Jn 14:10).
Just as with His disciples, the Lord also wants to live with all of us, for we today are also called into His friendship, He also shares with us what He hears from the Father, He also takes us into the great mission of leading the world home to the Father.
Jesus has opened the door to the Father’s heart for us forever! This leads us to complete joy!