THE GREAT FRUIT OF LOVE

Meditation for Friday of the 5th Week of Easter
(Acts 15:22-31; Jn 15:12-17)

Yesterday we meditated on how the love of God flows down to us like a stream. Today we hear from Jesus how that love, once received, should spread around. It is like the love that comes from God to keep flowing; it cannot be stagnant. Stagnant water becomes poisonous and unhealthy, dangerous to anyone who drinks it. In the same way, love received must be allowed to flow down to others. If we try to keep it to ourselves, it becomes like stagnant water!

Therefore, Jesus said in the Gospel of today, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Earlier, Jesus explained that keeping His commandment makes one abide in His love, and we see now that this commandment is to share this love. That means by that very act with which we allow the streams of love to flow to others, we equally abide in the love of Jesus. Here we see how the love of God takes concrete expression in the love of neighbor, and the love of neighbor is inspired and energized by the love of God. “So, let us love one another since He loved us first. If you say, ‘I love God’, while you hate your brother or sister, you are a liar. How can you love God, whom you do not see if you do not love your brother, whom you see?” (1 Jn 4:19-20).

The greatest love is in the Trinity, for God is love. Greater love is in the incarnate Son, Jesus Christ. Great love is that which Christ’s faithful spread in the world and show to one another. It is this great and heroic love we see in the Apostles and the early Church as given in the first reading. With great love, the apostles agreed not to burden the Gentile converts, only that they must observe what was necessary for them to be united with Christ. Barnabas and Paul risked their lives for these Gentiles. It was a heroic love but to the glory of Christ, who supplied them the grace.

Love is the fruit we bear as branches of Jesus the Vine; the love we show to others makes us great. It is when the streams of divine love flow through us to others that we are identified and distinguished as friends of Jesus. “But I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you…I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He may give it to you.” In the end, showing love to one another becomes an answer to one’s prayers.

 

Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi-Muwo, Lagos.
Friday May 7th, 2021.
www.nwachinwe.blogspot.com

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