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 has introduced His disciples to the love of the Father; the same love with which the Father loves Him. Now the disciples also have access to that love. “Remain in my love”, Jesus says to the disciples. This precious love must not be disturbed; for it is to be the indissoluble bond between Jesus and His disciples.
The Lord also teaches us what we must do to remain in His love. He tells us: “If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love”. Without this condition, the love between Jesus and us cannot unfold. God would still love us and seek us, but it is we who, by sinning, keep the door closed, so that His love cannot enter. Only when we repent and convert can God’s love penetrate more deeply into our hearts.
So the first step to living consciously in this love is to keep the commandments. It is the spirit of fear of God that leads us not to violate His commands.
Once this first step has been taken, the joy of God can enter our life: the joy of being able to receive His love, the joy of living in truth, the joy of having discovered the deepest meaning of our existence, the joy that the Lord rejoices and is pleased with us. This rejoices the heart!
Jesus wants His disciples – and all people are called to be disciples (cf. Mt 28:19) – to find their home in this love and to share it also with others. In the following words Jesus reveals to us how infinitely great this love can be: “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 it certainly does not only refer to martyrdom, but also to service to the brother, when we no longer live a life for ourselves, but put it at the service of God and mankind.
Jesus invites His disciples into this wonderful friendship with Him. They are not simply servants who follow orders, no! They are called to friendship with Him, and so Jesus welcomes them into His heart. He makes them participants in His mission and makes known to them what He has heard from the Father (cf. Jn 14:10).
Just as with the disciples, Jesus wants to live in deep union with all of us. Today He also passes on to us what He has heard from the Father; He also includes us in the great mission of leading the world back to the Father.
Jesus has opened for us forever the door that leads to the Heart of the Father! When we enter it, our joy will reach its fullness.