From The Holy Gospel According To 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 may 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.”
Once upon a time, a priest received an emergency sick call to go to a hospital's Intensive Care Unit.
An elderly woman was near death. She wanted to talk to a priest. When the priest got to I.C.U., he discovered that the woman was 102 years old. Her mouth was gaping open, and she was drooling out the side of her mouth.
The priest spoke gently to her, heard her confession, and assured her that he and the parishioners would be remembering her during Mass. Then he asked, "Mrs. Kelly, before I leave, is there anything you would like me to do?" She requested that he pray for her: pray right then. The priest said, “Yes, of course,” and asked if there was something specific she would like him to pray for. She answered, "I'd like you to pray for me to be healed, right now." "Right now?," he asked. "Yes, Father, right away."
Realizing the hopelessness of her situation, the priest thought to himself, "Uh Oh!" But, reluctantly, he offered a beautiful prayer: "Loving Father, if it is Your will, please heal Mrs. Kelly; and if it is not Your will, then to help her and her loved ones adjust to the situation and place their hope in You. Amen."
Suddenly, 102-year-old Mrs. Kelly sat up in bed and exclaimed, "Wow!" She threw her feet over the side of the bed, stood up, flexed her muscles, and cried, "This is unbelievable! I feel wonderful!" Then she walked down to the nurses station, announcing, "I think I'm well! Hey, everyone, I think I'm well!"
The priest left the hospital, walked to the parking lot, got into his car, and offered his own words to God: "Lord... don't You ever do that to me again!"
✠The priest had been frightened by the intensity of love for Mrs. Kelly that GOD
revealed through the priest. The priest had never realized how much God loved him
and listened to him -- until that incident.
To love as Christ loves us means, first of all, to put aside our own hesitation, our own fears in order to relieve the fears of others.
To love as Christ loves us means to let go of our own hopes and wants, and instead seek the hopes and wants of others.
To love as Christ loves us means to care for and care about others, regardless of the sacrifices demanded of us.
To love as Christ loves us means to be ready always to make the first move to forgive and to heal.
That kind of love can be so overwhelmingly demanding that we may sneak away
from the prospect. This kind of love frightens people!
Do you and I really believe that our love toward another person can heal that person? Restore that person? Give hope and bring peace to that person?
I think that most of us know at least one incident, wherein, we were able to love someone like Our Lord Jesus loves that person.
I think that most of us know at least one time when someone had loved us like the Lord Jesus does.
To experience Christ’s divine love is an incredible joy! His Divine Love reaffirms our gut-feeling that we do have a purpose in our lives.
Christ’s Divine Love penetrates our being, and we experience completeness, wholeness, from giving and receiving pure, unadulterated love, the love Our Lord Jesus Christ has for you and me.
So, we must not forget: It was not you and I who chose Christ, but Christ who chose us -- to go forth and bear much fruit.
And our fruit must endure, so that all we ask the Father in Christ's name He will give us.
The command the Lord Jesus gave us is that we love one another -- first ... last ... always!