Here’s today’s short Gospel from John 15: 12-17; Jesus said to his 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. 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.”
Some of my recent reflection titles are “Like Father, Like Son”, “I Give You A New Commandment”, “Bearing Good Fruit” and yesterday’s “Keep My Commandments”. I list them because today’s Gospel reading seems to be a summary. But what really jumped out at me today is laying down one’s life for one’s friends.
My mind says I would do it. My heart says I would do it. If I am going to follow Jesus, I have to do it. He laid down his life for everyone, even those who hated and killed him. Thinking about it, do I have the confidence that I would be able to really do it? My true answer would be no because I am selfish and I would want to live as much as you would want to live. But if like so many martyrs have done by calling on the name of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God the Father, by his grace, I would and could do it. What comes to mind is I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I will pray though that I am not put to the test but if I am called to lay down my life for the glory of God, let your will be done Lord.