Sixth Sunday of Easter: Gospel – John 14:15-21
Jesus teaches us what intimate union with Him truly means: if we love Him, we keep His commandments.
This is not meant in the sense of clinical adherence to rules, but rather, as a profound interior transformation. Adopted by the Father, we are conformed to Christ, and desire to be like Him (Catechism paragraphs 2782-84).
This transformation takes place over time, as Pope Benedict XVI described in his encyclical God Is Love:
This process is always open-ended; love is never ‘finished’ and complete; throughout life, it changes and matures…
To want the same thing, and to reject the same thing – [this] was recognized by antiquity as the authentic content of love: the one becomes similar to the other…
The love story between God and man consists in the very fact that this communion of will increases in a communion of thought and sentiment, and thus our will and God’s will increasingly coincide: God’s will is no longer for me an alien will, something imposed on me from without by the commandments, but it is now my own will, based on the realization that God is in fact more deeply present to me than I am to myself. Then self-abandonment to God increases and God becomes our joy.
As St. Basil the Great (d. 379) observed,
If we turn away from evil out of fear of punishment, we are in the position of slaves…If we obey for the sake of the good itself, and out of love for Him who commands, we are in the position of children.
— Catechism paragraph 1828.
Question for reflection: In what ways do I love the Lord?