“As the Father loves me, so I love you. Remain in my love”
What does it mean to remain in Christ’s love? How does one go about doing this? Does it mean to love as Christ loved? If so, then I find myself routinely failing. What can I do if I cannot be any better than the Pharisees and Scribes? Remain in my love is harder than it sounds. Or is it?
The Tremendous Lover. The Lord invites his Apostles, his intimate followers, to follow him in his words, his life, his actions and his way of living. Why? “I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.” This is the goal of Christian living: to be filled with Christ’s joy. If I am a Christian mom or dad and I get so stressed out over the tiniest of failures – my own failures and the failures of my children and my spouse - then I am not witnessing to others Christ’s love, Christ’s life, Christ’s promise. Joy is a consequence of God’s presence in our life. It is something very Christian, like the resurrection! And yes, joy must be kept even when we are under attack, under the gun and under the weight of the world for all is grace, even death on a Cross. All is given to us by God. Jesus said, “As the Father loves me - in danger of death from the moment of his birth, hidden till the age of thirty, labored and toiled for Twelve men, suffered a horrible passion and death by the age of thirty-three – so I love you. Our life is a love offering, a gift to another. May we never forget this and may we always practice this! God wishes to be present in my life – all of it, from cradle to grave…to the resurrection and life everlasting. Remain in my love means complete Joy!
The Presence of God. If I wish to progress spiritually, I must employ all the means that are available to me. I cannot end a single day without having reflected or meditated upon life’s blessings. This God presence includes so much. It includes (1) daily prayer - oral and heartfelt; (2) spiritual reading to lift up the heart above the labor and toils of the day; (3) an appreciation and understanding of mystery. After all, the future will reveal what today cannot be understood. The presence of God is all around us so why do I walk with my head down? This is what I do. Every day, I make sure that I am in the presence of God through his creation. I might look at the stars at night or marvel at the Moon or Sunset. I might spend a few bright seconds reflecting on laughter that surrounds me as I watch a baseball game or spend time with a family at the supper table. What do I contemplate? That I am present and so are they; that we are living our lives at the same time in history, and that as much as they need me, I need them; that the Lord in his goodness has provided us for each other. All of this is good: nothing unholy, nothing degrading and nothing unworthy of His Majesty. We must always have a realistic - a healthy - attitude towards life. Create a sixth sense, a “sense of wonder.” Look outside. Look inside. Look all around. Look above and be amazed. So much is here. So much love is here. “Remain in my love.”
Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations (Ps 96:3). Amen. Halleluiah! This is the devout life. This is the life of the Saints, even those who worked in the slums. This is the life that we have all been called to. Give a mighty thanks to God’s mighty providence and let us encourage one another to abandon ourselves to his divine providence. By doing so, we remain in his love.