Daily Reflection – 5/23/19
Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”( John 15: 9-11)
Today’s gospel is short, but very beautiful.
We’ve heard all our lives that Jesus loves us. Each one of us instinctively longs to know Jesus more deeply in prayer and through the sacraments, and to feel his love for us more profoundly than what we do right now. There are a lot of people who believe that just because they cannot feel Jesus’s tender, warm feelings of love for them, that he must not love them at all. If they can’t feel his love, then he doesn’t care about them. But, this just isn’t the case at all. In fact, Jesus is often the closest to us, the further away that we feel from him. We need to love the giver of this gift, more than the gift itself though.
Love is a choice, not a feeling.
This is worth repeating many times over, that love is a choice and not a feeling. Jesus says pretty much the same thing in today’s gospel. “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.” What we do matters more than what we feel. Feelings do not always portray the truth. Our actions portray the truth of what we believe, so much more than our words and feelings.
Jesus Christ is our true source of joy, not the temporary pleasures of the world. The temporary pleasures of the world are often just a distraction from joy. Our sins though, are the main way we are distracted from joy. That’s why Christ warns us to obey the commandments because he genuinely does have our well-being in mind.
How do we find this joy that Jesus is talking about in today’s gospel though? But, the genuine way to find joy in our hearts, a purpose for living, and a deep-down sense of being loved, of peace and well-being is to spend quality time in prayer. Not minutes a day, but maybe a half hour to one hour a day. Prayer opens the door of the heart to grace. If our hearts are filled with “other things” there is no room left in our hearts for grace.
There really is no substitute for the love of Jesus Christ and the graces that he sends to those he loves.
Prayer of The Day
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you have blessed us with. Thank you for this life and for our families. Lord, help us to never stray and to always remain in your loving care. Lord, we are not deserving of you, but you choose to pour out your love and mercy on us no matter what, help us never to forget this. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.
We are the love of Christ. Our belief in Jesus’ words changes how we see ourselves, one another, the world, and the circumstances of our lives. That belief is what allows us to keep his commandment to love one another. When we know these things about ourselves our only response is love. We can do nothing else. We are free to live and more fully become the love of Christ.