Today’s Gospel reading is from John, Chapter 15. Here’s a memorable line from that lovely book:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.” – Jesus
It’s a command, not a suggestion or a ‘guide for your life.’ It’s what Jesus expects of us and rightly so. He suffered and died for us. He also rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven. And so in His divinity and humanity, and all that entails through the end of His earthly life, Jesus redeems us. Our human lives matter, all frail and fault-laden, all impossibly, indescribably complex. We matter very much to God. And, forgive the pun but our matter matters.
Jesus became human and so our humanity – body and soul inextricably combined – it’s sanctified. God did not have to send a Son, His beloved child. Just try to imagine, if you are a parent, how much you love your child or children. You think each one of them as so special and unique. Because they are. But how about if you’re God’s Son? There is none more special, none as quintessentially unique.
None more holy or blessed.
But because God is God, He knows how the earthly life of His Son will end. It’s not just the death, too soon and too horrific and gruesome. It’s that God knows Jesus will be betrayed and abandoned by all who followed Him. Only Mary and John, the author of this Gospel, will be there as Jesus breathes His last. God knows.
And yet, God sends Jesus anyway. It’s not like sending your kid to a new school where he or she knows no one and you worry about the friends they’ll make, will they have anyone to eat lunch with, will they be lonely? God knows already all the nightmarish experiences Jesus will suffer, but sends His Son in anyway. Into our humanity. Why? Because God loves all of us. Every last one of us that He created, God loves. So He sends One like us (in all things but sin) to defend us and lead us out of the dark valley. To lead us from death to life…
Jesus could really do nothing but love us. And now He wants us to love as selflessly, as wholeheartedly, as sacrificially, as He does. He has proven it to us. What are we waiting for?
This is just something I share about Jesus to remind us we are loved and that we should love others with that same reckless, all consuming love.