Lord, increase in us the desire to love all others as you have loved us. Give us the courage of our faith to honor your love with our very lives. We pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen!
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16
This verse comes in one of the most beautiful passages in John’s Gospel. John is known as the Apostle of love because he really focuses on God’s loving actions in the world through Jesus Christ. Here we have another example of that love.
Just before today’s verse, Jesus says to the disciples, “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (verses 12-14) What a thought for all of us to contemplate. Friendship is one of the greatest expressions of love in our lives. To have and to be a true friend finds its fullness in a love that is so great that we are willing to suffer for, or to even to die for the other, and they for us. This kind of relationship was best modeled, of course, by Jesus. He showed us the depth of the Father’s love for us, too, by willingly giving his all for us on the cross. And he has commanded us to do the same for one another.
The reality, as Jesus expresses to us so clearly here in John’s Gospel, is that God first loved us. He chose us. He made each one of us like a potter lovingly laboring over his creation. And he continues to choose us as the focus of his infinite love. When we come to realize this in faith, it is our desire, then, to willingly love him in return by choosing to live in accord with his commandment to love one another, as he loved us.
When we do this we are bearing the holy and righteous “fruit” that he has so generously given to us, and it is a fruit that will last. It will last beyond our own lives in the lives of those we have loved as Jesus does. When we are living this love actively, in Jesus’ name, whatever we ask in his name, the Father will give us. This is rich fruit indeed. Are we not overwhelmed by this generosity of love? He chose us! And he has appointed us to bear this fruit into the environs of our daily lives. He is with us! If we willingly submit to his commandment of love, he will answer all of our needs. This is the action of love. It is always life giving, always willing to give of itself for the good of others. This is the very heart of our Christian faith. Oh, how blessed we are!
Lord, increase in us the desire to love all others as you have loved us. This is the fruit that honors the merciful and loving gift of salvation that you won for us on the cross. Give us the courage of our faith to honor your love with our very lives. We pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen!
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