Thursday, 5th Week of Easter           

            Jesus’ appeal to us is: “Remain in my love.” The Lord has been with us every step of the way… he has watched us, he has cared for us, he has loved us. The Lord knows us – he knows about our worries, fears, and anxieties; he knows about our struggles, weaknesses, and idiosyncrasies; he knows our hearts’ desires and our secret longings. The Lord has nothing but precious gifts for us – the gift of love, of forgiveness, of mercy, and of healing. He has kept us in his love… and he wants us to remain in his love.

            When we remain in Jesus’ love and friendship, we will be friends to one another. We will also share with one another the love of the Father. And we will share this love in words and in deeds. “Remain in my love… Remain in my friendship.”

            Let us humbly admit that sometimes we do not have the patience and the perseverance to remain in Jesus, to remain in his love. We ‘remain’ with somebody else who promises better life for us. Some ‘remain’ with those who entertain them when they are lonely. Some ‘remain’ with those they benefit from or take advantage of. Some ‘remain’ with a popular leader who promises a drug-free Philippines – even willing to go to hell with him. Some ‘remain’ with their inordinate desires for material things, worldly entertainment, and physical pleasure. Some ‘remain’ with their hatred, resentment, and bitterness – unwilling to forgive those who have hurt them. Some ‘remain’ with their bad habits, unhealthy attitudes, and selfish way of life. Some ‘remain’ with their addictions, fixations, attachments, and dependencies. We ‘remain’ in our comfort zones – unwilling to share in the life and mission of the Church, particularly of your parish. If these are the things that we allow to ‘remain’ in us, then we cannot really remain in Jesus’ love and friendship, and, of course, we cannot be friends to one another.

            The Lord Jesus is challenging us to ask ourselves this question: How can we remain in his love? How can we remain in his friendship? How can we become a community of friends? Our personal answer to these questions determines how we accept God’s offer of friendship. And our personal efforts to take part in the building or forming of a community of friends is a manifestation that we are heeding Jesus’ appeal: “Remain in my love.”

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