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The advocate

Gospel Reading: Jn 14:21-26

Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.

“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name – he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”

WHOEVER LOVES ME WILL KEEP MY WORD

Discipleship is a union of intimate love with Jesus, but love is not to be interpreted merely as emotion. Love is also a matter of human decision and action. One who truly loves Jesus proves it by keeping his commandments or, better, the “new commandment” of love. And this is to love one another as Jesus loves his disciples (cf Jn 13:34).

Unlike love that usually means a one-to-one relationship, the love of Jesus takes the form of a triad: Jesus-I-brother/sister. To love Jesus is not to be thoroughly focused on him only, but to welcome the brother and sister in that relationship. It is not “you and me against the world,” an exclusive love, but rather an inclusive one that welcomes others. John writes: “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 Jn 4:20).

It is certainly easier to love Jesus because he is all good and loving than a fellow human being with all his or her weaknesses, shortcomings, and sins. But this is how we prove to the Lord that we really love him.

“[Lord,] lead me in the path of your commandments, for that is my delight” (Ps 119:35).

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