……from your Pastors Desk
In today’s Gospel, Jesus says to His disciples: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.”
We’re so used to those words we may forget how beautiful they are. It’s Jesus at the Last Supper talking to His disciples. And what does Jesus mean when He says: “Whosoever loves me keeps my word?’ Keeps what word?
The only command that Jesus ever gave his disciples is this: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Not love Him or the Father, but “Love one another.” Be generous and kind, loyal and true, but most of all forgiving of each other. This is all that God wants of you.
The true mark of a disciple of Jesus is his willingness to forgive. Jesus says: “By this all will know you are my disciples, by your love for one another.” Loving with God’s love. God’s love is always a forgiving love, a giving love, and what God gives, God never takes away.
I’m sure some say, “Yes, those are fine words as we sit here in this church, safe, sound and comfortable. But as for the world outside, it is a different place, full of evil and guile, and great dangers, too. Best to be avoided at all costs.”
One thing to keep in mind when they say things like that is this: the world outside is God’s world, and God tells us, “Do not be afraid, I have overcome the world that you fear. And together we shall change the world.” In fact, it’s changing before our very eyes, for Jesus is among us and is changing it. And, today, we add to that joy – the joy of Jesus telling us it’s all about love: God, loving us and we loving one another as Jesus loves us.
In the end of today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of peace. He says to all of us today: “Peace I leave with you, my own peace I give you. A peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. So do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”
God is with us all, and always with us: in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in mourning and in celebration… God loves us, we are all God’s children, and God’s love and our destiny are and will be everlasting.
And we might well add: “Jesus, have mercy on our troubled and fearful hearts, and grant to us the peace and unity and love of your kingdom where you live with us now and forever and ever.”