(Instructions from John- Chapter 14-15)
Opening Bible for daily B-Mail—found John sending a letter today. As I read, the Holy Spirit led me to see the connection with this Lents theme hidden in John’s writings.
1.) Chapter 14- V1* “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith* in God; have faith also in Me.”
Who is this ‘Me’ that we are called to follow? Of course we would all say---“JESUS!” We would be right, so give yourself a gold star. But who is this “Me” to us. When you imagine Jesus—‘Me’, what words come to mind. Define the word you associate most with Jesus, and you will know what you are called to do to follow this ‘Me’ Person who is calling us. Simply define the Word LOVE.
1-Corinthians gives what the Word of God will say about love. *
“Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, and it is not inflated. 5-it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, 6- It does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. 7- It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8- Love never fails.”
This definition is just the beginning of a seemingly endless list of what love is. Let us remember, we are told that if we do all types of grandiose things, have great amounts of money, pray all types of prayers, attend countless Masses---but do not love—we are failing to follow Jesus.
There are other words to describe Jesus---mercy, compassion, forgiveness, tenderness, faithful, committed to the Father’s Will—all of which must to be included in our personality when ‘following this Me-Jesus.’
2.) In verse 6 of John 14, Jesus said to him, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7-If you know Me, then you will also know My Father. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.”
This ‘Me’ is also the ‘I AM’ or God. Their Way is again to live in love, and live as Jesus would live, walking in Faith, Hope, Trust and Love.
3.) “12-Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in Me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. 13-And whatever you ask in My Name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14-If you ask anything of Me in My Name, I will do it.” (We must always ask in Love. Love of others, and concern for their needs as Jesus did, forgetting our own self—trusting that God knows our needs before we do. So when we ask, we will be asking for needs of others first and for ourselves if what we ask for is truly is a NEED. Whenever we ask for God’s riches and gifts—He will always say YES! Our motives cannot be selfish or self seeking when we pray. This would not be asking in Love--now would it?)
4.) The Advocate. 15-“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” So, Step 4 will be to keep “Me’s commandments.” The end result of this obedience will be this promise kept. “16-And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate* to be with you always, 17- the Spirit of truth,* which the world cannot accept, because It neither sees nor knows it. But you know It, because It remains with you, and will be in you. 18 -I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.* 19-In a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me, because I live and you will live. “
Whenever we see Jesus in others, and care for them as we would the wounded Jesus—we will indeed SEE Jesus.
5.) 20 “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. 24-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.”
Once more we are given the simple instructions ----Love as I have loved you. When we love, we will find the Peace—that this “Me” has promised. “27-Peace* I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” Then at the end of this discourse---this ‘Me’ speaks these words—“Get up, let us go!”
Wow! This is another of God's promises in a one word---‘US.’ 'Me' goes with us wherever we go, and “I Am’ is with us always too,! To be aware of Their Presence though, we must love and obey what He asks us to do. This means to be very open to the Holy Spirit move within us. To do so, means to shut out the ‘worldly distractions—so you can HEAR Him speak to your heart whenever we are able to “Be still and Know.”
6.)I am the Vine and the Branches. John- Chapter 15 v1* “I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vine Grower. 2He takes away every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does He prunes, so that it bears more fruit. 4-Remain in Me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me. 5-I am the Vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in Me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without Me you can do nothing. 6- Anyone who does not remain in Me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. 7-If you remain in Me and My Words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. 8-By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become My disciples. 9-As the Father loves Me, so I also love you. Remain in My love. 10-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.
So it is all very simple---to Follow, we love as Jesus loved. We remain in Him by getting into His Word daily, with drawing away to pray, attending Mass frequently---all to feed us and refuel us as we go! We ask the Holy Spirit to send us the fruits of compassion, hospitality, humility, and give us the grace to forgive always. We also ask for His gifts of Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, and Discernment. Don’t forget we need Zeal to love and spread Good Words. Finally, we need Respect/Reverence/Fear of God, Faith, Hope, and the ability to Love as Jesus loves. Without the Holy Spirit and His Presence in our hearts---we are totally unable to do all that Jesus—this ‘Me’—is asking us to do when He asked us to ‘Turn back to Me—come follow Me’ this Lent. We are to be steadfast and faithful to the Father’s Will for us, no matter how difficult the journey gets. We should not want to live by the world's ways, seeking the worldly pleasures of fleshly desires of our hearts. For when we love as Jesus loved we desire only to ‘Know Him, love Him, serve Him and walk in His righteous WAY.
Jesus, this ‘Me’ has spoken these words so that our faces may radiate Peace, Joy and His Presence in us.
11“I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. 12-This is My Commandment: love one another as I love you. 13- No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14-You are my friends if you do what I command you.
This call to “Come Follow Me,” is a call to love so deeply and committed that we are willing to lay down ALL of our Life and surrender it to the Father’s Will just as Jesus did, even to the point of taking up all the crosses in our lives with thanksgiving in our hearts as we ‘Come Follow Me.’
“Get up, let us go!” Jesus