Christ’s love for Christians is a reflection of the love the Three Divine
Persons have for one another and for all men: “We love, because He first loved
us” (1 John 4:19).
Reflection from “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”
The certainty that God loves us is the source of Christian joy (verse 11), but it is
also something which calls for a fruitful response on our part, which should take
the form of a fervent desire to do God’s will in everything, that is, to keep His
commandments, in imitation of Jesus Christ, who did the will of His Father (cf.
12-15. Jesus insists on the “new commandment”, which He Himself keeps by
giving His life for us. See note on John 13:34-35.
Christ’s friendship with the Christian, which our Lord expresses in a very special
way in this passage, is something very evident in St.Escriva’s preaching: “The
life of the Christian who decides to behave in accordance with the greatness of
his vocation is so to speak a prolonged echo of those words of our Lord, ‘No
longer do I call you My servants; a servant is one who does not understand what
his master is about, whereas I have made known to you all that My Father has
told Me; and so I have called you My friends’ (John 15:15). When we decide to
be docile and follow the will of God, hitherto unimagined horizons open up before
us…. ‘There is nothing better than to recognize that Love has made us slaves
of God. From the oment we recognize this we cease being slaves and become
friends, sons’ (St. J. Escriva, “Friends of God”, 35).
“Sons of God, friends of God…. Jesus is truly God and truly Man, He is our
Brother and our Friend. If we make the effort to get to know Him well ‘we will
share in the joy of being God’s friends’ [“ibid.”, 300]. If we do all we can to keep
Him company, from Bethlehem to Calvary, sharing His joys and sufferings, we
will become worthy of entering into loving conversation with Him. As the Liturgy
of the Hours sings, “calicem Domini biberunt, et amici Dei facti sunt” (they drank
the chalice of the Lord and so became friends of God).
“Being His children and His friends are two inseparable realities for those who
love God. We go to Him as children, carrying on a trusting dialogue that should
fill the whole of our lives; and we go to Him as friends…. In the same way our
divine sonship urges us to translate the overflow of our interior life into apostolic
activity, just as our friendship with God leads us to place ourselves at ‘the service
of all men. We are called to use the gifts God has given us as instruments to
help others discover Christ’ [“ibid.”, 258]” (Monsignor A. del Portillo in his preface
to St. J. Escriva’s, “Friends of God”).
16. There are three ideas contained in these words of our Lord. One, that the
calling which the Apostles received and which every Christian also receives does
not originate in the individual’s good desires but in Christ’s free choice. It was not
the Apostles who chose the Lord as Master, in the way someone would go about
choosing a rabbi; it was Christ who chose them. The second idea is that the
Apostles’ mission and the mission of every Christian is to follow Christ, to seek
holiness and to contribute to the spread of the Gospel. The third teaching refers
to the effectiveness of prayer done in the name of Christ; which is why the Church
usually ends the prayers of the liturgy with the invocation “Through Jesus Christ
The three ideas are all interconnected: prayer is necessary if the Christian life is
to prove fruitful, for it is God who gives the growth (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:7); and the
obligation to seek holiness and to be apostolic derives from the fact that it is
Christ Himself who has given us this mission.