Jn 15: 9-17
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved 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 do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Moved by love
It is knowing that we are loved, chosen, and called that moves us to love. In the Contemplation to Attain Divine Love, the final meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius asks the retreatant to review how God labors to create, sustain, and redeem all of God’s creation. St. Ignatius noted earlier in the same meditation: “Love is shown more in deeds than in words,” and as someone once said: “God’s word is God’s deed.”
After marinating in the experience of God’s immense goodness and outpouring love, the retreatant is asked to make a response of self-surrender. “Take Lord, receive…” Consider how God has loved, called, and chosen you throughout this day without ever “saying” a word. Moved by love, make one concrete and discrete act of love today toward someone you know or a complete stranger, and quietly delight in it with God.
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.
—Suscipe prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola