Gospel Reflection on John 15:9-17 by Megan Evans

If you missed it, this week’s Gospel is all about LOVE. In this Gospel, Jesus says “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” He tells his disciples that they must keep His commandments and remain in His love, just as Jesus himself has done so to remain in His Father’s love. Jesus says: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus tells us that we did not choose Him, rather, He chose us.

Reading this Gospel, it feels rather straightforward, right? To remain in Jesus’ love, we must love others as He has loved us. It seems simple until we remember all that He has done for us. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Remember this: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

So how is it that we cannot simply love our neighbor? So often, our actions serve ourselves. We ask: “How can I make my life better? How can I make more money? How can I make others like me more?” We weigh the worth of certain things by the amount they can serve us and better our lives before we ask how they can better the lives of others. We could live a lifetime and never be willing to commit the greatest act of love. That’s what makes me sad, that’s what worries me the most. The hate in this world is too great.

Our refusal to love everyone as Jesus loved us has grave consequences. Homelessness, hunger, abortion, hate crime, abuse, or racism. Victims are created out of the hate that people give rather than the love that they deserve. These are prominent issues in today’s world that I feel could be fixed with love. If we could take this Gospel reading and Jesus’ word and live them out in our lives—helping those in need, loving those who are unloved, caring more about others. If we only would choose Jesus, and love one another as He has loved us. What would the world look like then?