Friday, May 15, 2015
Not deviating from love
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
May 10, 2015
The evangelist John puts into Jesus' mouth a long farewell speech in which, with special intensity, some fundamental features are gathered that his disciples are to remember throughout the ages to be faithful to him and his plan. In our times, too.
"Remain in my love." That's the first. It's not just about living in a religion, but living in the love that Jesus loves us with, the love he receives from the Father. Being Christian isn't first of all a doctrinal matter but a question of love. Throughout the centuries, the disciples will know uncertainty, conflicts and difficulties of all kinds. The important thing will always be not to deviate from love.
Remaining in Jesus' love isn't something theoretical or vacuous. It is "keeping his commandments," which he himself sums up next in the mandate of fraternal love: "This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you." Christians find many commandments in their religion. Their origin, nature, and importance are diverse and not equal. With the passing of time, the rules multiply. Only of the mandate to love does Jesus say, "This is my commandment." In any era or situation, the important thing for Christianity is to not get away from fraternal love.
Jesus doesn't present this mandate to love as a law that is to rule our lives, making them harder and more burdensome, but as a source of joy: "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete." When real love is lacking among us, a void is created that nothing and nobody can fill with joy.
Without love it isn't possible to take steps towards a more open, cordial, joyful, simple and lovable Christianity where we can live as "friends" of Jesus, according to the gospel expression. We won't know how to generate joy. Even unwillingly, we will go on cultivating a sad Christianity, full of complaints, resentment, laments, and uneasiness.
Our Christianity often lacks the joy of what is done and lived out with love. Our following of Jesus lacks the enthusiasm of innovation and has too much of the sadness of what is repeated without the conviction that we are reproducing what Jesus wanted from us.