This is my commandment: Love one another as I have loved you! There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friends; and you are my friends, if you do what I command you.
I shall not call you servants any more, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead, I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learned from my Father.
You did not choose me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.
This is my command, that you love one another.
If a hundred Christians were stopped on the street and asked by a curious reporter, “Who is your best friend?” how many would unhesitatingly answer, “Jesus Christ”?
In today’s gospel reading Jesus declares emphatically: “You are my friends, if you do what I command you”—and his commandment is that we love one another.
Now here many Christians misunderstand what Jesus means by “love” and think that Jesus expects them to have nice feelings for everybody around them, to like everybody. But, of course, it is impossible to like everybody. Some dislikes are automatic and spontaneous. As the popular expression explains such cases, “our vibes (vibrations) are on a different frequency.“ But the love spoken of by Jesus is not a feeling (although it can be accompanied by all kinds of feelings), it is a free decision of the will to treat others (we are speaking of actions here) as well as possible: do good, bless, pray for, lend money to, etc. (cf. Lk 6). If we do this to all the people we deal with, we will be obeying Jesus’ command—and we will have him as our Friend, surely the best of all friends!
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