Today’s Gospel Reading at the Sunday Mass comes from John 15:9-17:
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
“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.”
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
In dark (not light) of President Barack Obama’s recent statement that he supports homosexual marriage, a number of people who call themselves Christians (Catholic and Protestant) have come out to make statements that Jesus never said anything homosexuality or homosexual marriage. In my next video on the Theology of the Body this week I’m going to talk all about Jesus’ most emphatic statement about homosexual marriage, but today’s Gospel Reading presents another opportunity to weigh in on this issue.
Last week I answered the question “How Do We ‘Remain’ In Christ (The True Vine)?”, by drawing from 1 John 3:24, which reads “Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit he gave us.” Now today we turn to what the actual commandment is that allows us to remain In Christ. Jesus says, “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
A number of descriptive words can be used to describe the manner in which Jesus loved us, and it is important to call out those descriptive words because the command is for us to love one another as He loved us. From His birth in the womb of Mary to His Ascension, we can say that Jesus’ love was sacrificial, meaning that He put the needs of others before Himself; His love was prayerful, meaning that prayer to His Eternal Father preceded and informed His actions; His love was full; meaning that He loved in a way that those whom He encountered exactly how needed to be loved; His love was transformative; meaning that He loved those whom He encountered into a better place. His love was holy, meaning that He didn’t lead those who He encountered into sin; His love was open, meaning that He didn’t just love those who loved Him, He also loved those who hated Him. The commonality between all of these descriptive words is that they are all ‘choices’, not emotions. Love is a decision that comes with the fruit of decisive actions!
Many more decisive words can be used to describe the manner in which Jesus loves, and St. Paul’s definition of love in the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians is another great picture of the type of love we are called to emulate, but the point being made here is that love that leads others into sin is no love at all. True love always desires the best for it’s object of love.
There are two points about this issue of homosexual marriage that need to be made very clear. The first is that, despite what others are saying, homosexual marriage is not about love. If that were truly the case then people should be allowed to marry their pet animal who they love and live in a committed relationship with. If this were truly about love then fifty year old men should be able to marry six year old boys who they love and live in committed relationship with. On the contrary, because we are human beings who are still dealing with the consequences of Humanities Original Sin, the way in which we love can be very disordered at times. That is to say that, sometimes we care about others in ways we ought not – ways in which Jesus wouldn’t. Sometimes our human expressions of love are actually expressions of human hate. We must always remember that true love always desires the best for the other, and a love that doesn’t desire Heaven for other is a love that is desires something less for other.
The second point is that we must stop thinking that everyone in this world is rational . Unless you are holy; meaning without sin, then there is no reason for me not to distrust your rational and motives for your actions. The journey to being conformed to Christ is fought with perils of temptation, that we can only overcome with the help of God’s grace. Homosexual acts are temptations from Satan, that he uses to kill, steal, and destroy humanity. No homosexual act will ever lead to the procreation of new life, and Satan is very pleased with the reality that by their very nature homosexual acts inveigh against God’s very first command to be fruitful and multiply.
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.” That is, we must love each other in a way that draws the other closer to God. We must love each other in a way that guides the other on the path of Heaven, rather than to Hell.
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” The life I lay down for my friends is my own will. I lay down my own will, so that the will of God will triumph. The will of God is for us to be one with Him and to dwell with Him for eternity. Sin – the fruit of immoral acts, is the hinders our relationship with God.
What did Jesus say about Homosexual Marriage? As I will continue to discuss on this blog and on Youtube, He had a whole lot to say. In the instant case, He said that it isn’t a true form of love.
“Lord Jesus I confess that I can do nothing without you.
Therefore, I call upon the Holy Trinity to love in me, love through me, and love with me,
so that I can be all that you created me to be.
In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
Scripture texts in this blog are taken from the New American Bible with Revised New Testament and Revised Psalms © 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.