Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. He is giving them a visual proclamation of his new commandment: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.”
When we accept this commandment, we walk the path of joy. When we internalize this law, we become happy. And so the paradox: happiness is never a function of filling oneself up; it is a wonderful function of giving oneself away.
When the divine grace enters one’s life (and everything we have is the result of divine grace), the task is to contrive a way to make it a gift. In a sense, the divine life—which exists only in gift form—can be “had” only on the fly.
Notice that we are to love with a properly divine love: “I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.” Radical, radical, radical. Complete, excessive, over-the-top.
Reflect: Compare how Christianity defines happiness with the opposite way our culture defines it. Which way are you practicing?