May 11, 2012 - Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Acts 15:22-31
Psalm 57:8-12
John 15:12-17

Today the Lord Jesus commands us to love. With this command, he implicitly denies the idea of love as an emotion, a feeling, an experience. He would not command us to feel love, to be in love. That would be impossible. He would not command us to have a particular emotion. Emotions and feelings cannot be commanded. Only actions can be commanded. Love then is an action verb.

The action of love is threefold: to see the good in the other, to do good for the other, and to let the other love you. We look to our perfect example of love, Jesus Christ. We must love one another as Jesus loved us. God is love. It was because of love that God sent his only Son. Everything that Jesus Christ did was an act of love. His life was pure love. The supreme moment of that life, and therefore the greatest example of love we possess, was the death of Jesus on the cross for our sins. “No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.”

We will be the friend of Jesus if we do what he has commanded us. And what has he commanded? Love one another as I love you. We will be a friend of Jesus (and talk about friends in high places) if we love him as he loves us. We must love him in every member of his Body, the Church. Jesus has proven his friendship with us. He has told us what the Father told him. He says that we are friends if we do what he has commanded of us. This is reasonable. If we have heard the Word of God Incarnate speak the Word of God, as spoken between the Father and the Son, what response could we possibly have to this generous gift but obedience?

It was Love that created humanity. And when we had fallen and needed a savior, it was Love that sent us Jesus. It was love that allowed Jesus to offer himself on the Cross. It was love that raised Jesus from the dead. Love is an active power in our world. Love is the measure of every action. We no longer need the other commandments to guide us away from danger and sin; we only need the commandment to love. Love is our guide through life. We will not go wrong if we deny all selfishness and follow love to the end. Love will never lead us astray.