Today is the Feast of St. Matthias, the apostle who took the apostolic office that Judas Iscariot had vacated (Acts 1:21-26). The disciples prayed and cast lots between Joseph Barsabbas and Matthias. Matthias eventually was counted with the Eleven to complete the Twelve apostles.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches the disciples a lesson about the greatest kind of love. It is the love of a friend who lays down his life for his friends. The good news is that Jesus considers those who follow him as friends. And for his friends, he lays down his life. To become a friend of Jesus, however, there is a minimum requirement: to do his commandment. Jesus commands those who have followed him to love one another (Jn 15:12).
Do we recognize the value of being Jesus’ disciples? How can we be true to the friendship offered by Jesus? Are we ready to do his commandment of love?
GOSPEL • JOHN 15:9-17
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. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”
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