Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Remain in my love
As the Father loves me, so I also love 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 joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. Jn 15,9-11
In the early verses of chapter 15 of John’s Gospel, which we meditated yesterday, Jesus urges his disciples to “remain” in him: “Remain in me, as I remain in you… Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit… Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither… If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you” (Jn 15,4-7). In today’s passage, Jesus tells us that remaining in him means to remain in his love, so that he can send us his joy and our joy may be full. But what does this expression mean: “Remain in my love”? It means “Let me love you! Do not go away from me, my joy is complete only if I can love you”. It is a request that expresses an infinite love power, able to forgive all sins and to heal every physical and mental illness. We face with a dimension of love of which man cannot see the far end, we can only guess it when, in the moment of the cross, Jesus says: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do “(Lk 23,34). It is before this ability to love that the church could state that the substance of God is “love”, and this is fully manifested in “forgiveness”. We have been granted the privilege to understand what healing and transforming power love has when, though still human, it rises to such a level that it make us think of God’s love. In the 1980s, the problem of the homeless, in Milan, was without solution for everybody: for the city council and the local church. Homeless people would not listen to anyone and did not believe the promises plans proposed. The problem was solved by Brother Ettore, a monk of the order of the Camillians who, filled with the Holy Spirit, bent on the homeless people, when they lay dirty and drunk on the ground, and only spoke these words: “I do not want anything and do not ask for anything, only allow to me to love you”. The miracle happened: other people joined him and, in a few years, the tramps in Milan had hot meals, a bed to sleep in, the Holy Mass on Sundays in the structures of Milan’s central station, and regained their dignity as men.