Remain in my love


A Gospel Enquiry 

Introduction 

When I was a child I memorised a statement from the small Catechism my teacher gave to me, about the purpose of my existence: God made me to know Him, love Him and serve Him on earth and to be happy with Him forever in Heaven. 

Here I am more than seventy years later, still trying to live according that statement of faith. I have come to realise that the statement is really about holiness. I was conceived and born to become holy. 

This Gospel Enquiry is about holiness. Jesus tells his disciples (and us) what it means to be holy. But we all know – and his disciples found this out, too – it’s one thing to know what it means, but it is entirely a different matter to become holy and to remain holy. In fact, it is impossible, without God first loving us and enabling us to love him in return. 

I am reminded of the words of St Paul in his letter to the Galatians: I was put to death on the cross with Christ, and I do not live anymore—it is Christ who lives in me. I still live in my body, but I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself to save me (Galatians 2:20 – NCV). 

May our thoughts and desires, our words and actions be in the name of Christ Jesus. 

The Gospel 

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved 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 own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.’ (John 15:9-11)

The Enquiry 

See

  • Read the Gospel. When and where does this scene take place? What do Jesus’ disciples hear him say to them? Is his message something new to them? 
  • This scene took place about 2,000 years ago. How has it impacted your life and the world in which you live?  
  • What has happened/is happening that gives Jesus cause to say these things about love, the commandments and being joyful?

Judge

  • What do you make of Jesus’ words to his disciples? What sense do you make of his words about experiencing joy?
  • Reflect on the relevance for you of his words about love, the commandments and being joyful How is your experience of life affirmed and/or challenged by what Jesus says to his disciples?     
  • We know that all but one of Jesus’ disciples fled when he was arrested. Yet, later on, after his resurrection, they re-grouped and took his words to heart. Identify some situations in life where such a change of heart and of commitment is needed.  

Act

  • Focus on what you want to change, perhaps in yourself, perhaps in others, so that people can find a home in the presence of Christ. 
  • What can you do to bring about that change? What small action can you take that will contribute to bringing about this change? 
  • Who can you involve in your action and how, when and how often will you get them to participate in your action?

Author: Pat Branson 

Image Source: Brett Jordan (Creator), Flickr, CC BY 2.0 DEED Attribution 2.0 Generic


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