THE SERVANT GENERAL
LOVING ONE ANOTHER
COMMANDED TO LOVE
Today’s gospel: John 15:12-17
us to love one another. “This I command you: love one
another.” (Jn 15:17). This particular gospel passage
is like a sandwich, with the commandment to love in verses
12 and 17 as the two outer pieces of bread, and the rest of
the verses as the filling.
how are we to love? “This is my commandment: love one
another as I love you.” (Jn 15:12). We are not left
to our own decision on how we are to love, but we are to love
as Jesus loves. How does Jesus love? With a self-sacrificial
love. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down
one’s life for one’s friends.” (Jn 15:13).
We are not just to do good to others or share what we have
with them, but we are to be willing to give our all, even
our very lives.
Second, what is one effect of loving one another? We become
Jesus’ friends. “You are my friends if you do
what I command you.” (Jn 15:14). Jesus commands us as
is fitting for a Master to his slaves. But when we obey, Jesus
raises our stature in our relationship with him. “I
no longer call you slaves” (Jn 15:15a). Rather than
serving at his table, we now sit with him at table. In fact,
Jesus had gone further. He reversed roles and took on the
posture of a slave, as he washed the feet of his disciples
mindlessly obey, “because a slave does not know what
his master is doing.” (Jn 15:15b). A slave does not
even care what his master is doing. He just exists from day
to day. On the other hand, friends obey, but from a posture
of faith and self-realization. We are God’s instruments
and not mindless robots. We are not a sect. We willingly but
not blindly obey.
explains the faith to us. Jesus expounds on the work of the
Father on earth. “I have called you friends, because
I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.”
(Jn 15:15c). Jesus withholds nothing from us. If we are to
carry on his work, we are to know everything that he knows.
We plunge into a life of faith and mission knowing what these
entail, including the hardships and pain.
Third, while we make our assent of faith, it is Jesus who
chooses and uses us. “It was not you who chose me, but
I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that
will remain” (Jn 15:16a). We are special. We are God’s
choice. We may not be the choicest of the lot, but we are
His choice nonetheless. Now before we become proud, we see
that God chooses those who count for nothing. And so we are
chosen to do what? To bear fruit that will remain. Our work
is about the lasting fruit of salvation in the lives of people.
It is ultimately about eternal life. This is why we are not
just to do good works in life, but we are to evangelize and
proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus. The greatest
manifestation of love for others is to help bring them to
Jesus and start the process of transformation in Christ.
Finally, Jesus assures us “that whatever you ask the
Father in my name he may give you.” (Jn 15:16b). Now
this is not just about a mindless formula of prayer or petition
“in Jesus’ name.” It is about living in
Jesus. It is about being his instrument. It is about being
empowered so that we can accomplish the task at hand.
in Jesus’ name is to be one in heart and mind with him.
It is to act in accord with his will and plan. It is to obey
him in every way. It is to be able to say: this is what Jesus
would say or do.
manifested his great love for all humanity when he gave his
very life on the cross. Now he commands us to love one another
as he has loved us. Praying in the name of Jesus, we ask that
the Father’s will be done in our lives. Thus do we love
God and love others as ourselves.