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 might be in you
and your joy might be complete.
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.
~ John 15:9-13
Today’s Gospel reading must be among the most touching and most moving among the Gospel passages people love to quote. Love indeed transforms. It fills our humdrum and and sometimes miserable existence with joy. Loves makes us realize that life is meant for sharing and that the essence of living is in the giving.
Even in the cosmic scheme of things, the universe is evolving and unfolding because of love. Different forces are at work in the universe. But love, according to Teilhard de Chardin, is “the most universal, the most tremendous and the most mystical of cosmic forces.” He explains, “Love is the primal and universal psychic energy. Love is a sacred reserve of energy; it is like the blood of spiritual evolution.” I’d say, it was love that compelled God to speak out the words, “Let there be light!” and started the whole of creation.
Four years ago, I put together these words trying to capture how love drives and transforms my life:
St. Augustine once wrote: “Love and then, what you will, do.” Seconding that emotion, Fr. Arrupe wrote: “What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.” Who and what I love make me want to get out of bed in the morning. They make me end my day with a smile when I go to bed. They bring color and endless abiding joy into my life. I think of all the people who have shown me love and changed my life for the better. I also think of all the people I have loved and pray that I have helped change their lives for the better.