This morning’s reading in John’s Gospel 15: 9-15 has the unusual expression that Jesus uses when talking to His disciples. This is part of the Vine and the Branches discourse. The meditation from today’s Word Among Us(May 11, 2023) that follows helps to explain how one might actually do that.
DAILY MEDITATION: JOHN 15:9-11
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love. (John 15:10)
We know that we are supposed to love Jesus. But how do we do it? How do you love someone that you can’t touch, see, or hear?
Jesus gives us a simple answer in today’s Gospel: keep his commandments.
Now, we often equate love with passion. But keeping Jesus’ “commandments” is more likely to bring to mind a tedious and demanding list of rules, not deep sentimental or emotional feelings. In fact, it can sound about as exciting as washing a sink full of dirty dishes!
But the truth is, a love that does not include keeping Jesus’ commandments is a love that lacks depth. It’s as if a man were to tell his wife that he loves her but then spend next to no time with her. His words would have little meaning to her, wouldn’t they?
In a similar way, we show our love for Jesus through our actions, especially by the way we love other people. God wants us to treat each other with the same dignity, respect, kindness, and forgiveness that Jesus has for them. As Jesus said immediately after today’s Gospel, “This is my commandment: love one another” (John 15:12).
Loving others doesn’t have to involve grand gestures. We can show our love most clearly in the ordinary ways we serve each other. Volunteering to help out a neighbor with a home improvement project. Helping a child with homework. Caring for a sick spouse. It’s acts like these that show our love and that keep us rooted in Jesus’ love.
Some days it may seem that your acts of love go unnoticed or unappreciated. But God is always pleased with your efforts, even if you can’t see any immediate result. He is using you to bless his people!
So instead of looking at Jesus’ commandments as chores, try thinking of them as your path to joy. Remind yourself that he has given you his command to love “so that my joy might be in you” (John 15:11). You are building his kingdom by your actions—and you are keeping yourself safe in his love at the same time. How could you not rejoice?
“Jesus, teach me to love as you love so that I can know your joy.”
Psalm 96:1-3, 10