We have just read (or heard), without a doubt, the greatest commencement speech or farewell speech ever recorded. Christ said to His disciples, "As the Father loves me, so I also love you." Do I grasp what this means? Take a few moments to contemplate the meaning of these words: Like the Father loves me (a love fully immersed in Love and beyond all human limitations), I love you (God loves me as he loves his very own son). Who could ask for more? Who could ask for a more perfect love? Christ loves me as He loves the Father and the Father loves Him. What is this love? Unconditional, unrelenting, unquestionable love. Love that endures all time, bears all things. Love that is piercing and painful, burning yet unconsuming; love that is selfless. This love is True!! What is the difference between kindness and love? Kindness does not worry about the eternal salvation of the other. So kindness avoids causing pain. Love worries about the salvation of the beloved and is willing to accept and endure pain and suffering if that is what it takes for the conversion of the beloved. The Lord loves us as the Father loves Him.
Last night I was discussing atheism with a so-called "atheist". I reminded her that atheism does not offer the world any ideals to life. The Christian knows what it means to love, "to lay down your life for another." This person reminded me of how Christians and others who believe in God have killed in the name of God. I reminded her of our founder, Jesus Christ. I said to her, "If a Muslim slit the throat of an infidel, they would be considered a good Muslim by Islamic Law. If a Christian slit the throat of an evil man, they would be considered a bad Christian by Christian Law. If an athiest slit the throat of a human being, they would be considered hungry by natural law." Christianity does not teach us how to survive but how to live, and to live means to love.
The Lord loves us as the Father loves Him! He tells us this so that our joy may be complete - that Christ's joy may be in me! Heaven completes our joy. Heaven is our final resting place. This world is not home, it is an inn and we are pilgrims. Our joy continues to ellude us in a culture that continues to worship tolerance, pundits, and gallop polls. And yet, the Christian continues to send shock waves throughout the empire when he/she stands up for God.
I heard today that a famous TV sports anchor, Damian Goddard, was fired for defending true marriage. He had sent a tweet defending a friend who was defending true marriage. He wrote nothing offensive, vulgar, or obscene. He wrote, "I completely and wholeheartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage." He was fired soon after that. I love what he said immediately after that, "It is times like these when I am so thankful for my Roman Catholic faith. I would be completely lost without it." He told a local newspaper, "In terms of what I said, I stand by it. I'm a devout Roman Catholic. It's not about hate at all!" I love it!!! It's not about hate at all. It's about love and truth, the two and only true God that is able to unite all mankind.
"As the Father loves me, so I love you. Remain in my love!" Yes sir!