As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved 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 do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.
You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Soon after I started my new position as Socius to the Provincial of the Jesuits West Province, I went to Wells Fargo to change over the account signatures. The bank teller asked what the word, Socius, meant. I told her it is Latin for the word, companion. And, without missing a beat, she ecstatically exclaimed, “Wow, what a wonderful job, you’re a professional friend!”
Although, not necessarily a professional friend, Jesus did choose us to be his companion, “I no longer call you slaves, I have called you friends,” as the translation we hear at Mass reads. Friends share with one another what is important to them, friends are vulnerable towards one another. Friends are those we can lean on when our heart aches; and who will never take advantage of our leaning. Friends will go to any length to do what is best for one another. And, in Jesus’ case, he chose to lay down his very life for us; and even in his death, his life rises within us, awakening us to a greater hope and a life-giving future.
Love is about the real, it is about a real-lationship. What a great friend we have in Jesus. Remain in his love
—Fr. Mike Bayard, SJ, is the Socius of the USA West Provinceof the Society of Jesus.
Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
—Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ
Please share the Good Word with your friends!