This week Jesus’ “fruit-bearing” conversation continues. If there was any doubt about what kind of fruit Jesus was asking his disciples to bear, this week’s reading makes it very clear. For Jesus it’s all about love – it is always all about love. But Jesus doesn’t just leave it at that. In these verses he says three things that help us to understand what kind of love he is talking about.

Firstly, Jesus speaks about love in terms of “remaining”. He describes the love he has for us as the same as that which he shares with the Father and invites us to remain in this love with him. What this means is that when Jesus speaks about love, he’s talking about the same kind of intimate connection that he enjoyed within the Godhead.

Secondly, Jesus speaks about this love in terms of “friendship”. We are not “slaves”, he says, but friends to whom he tells everything. This honest, vulnerability is what true friendship is all about. And Jesus offers himself to us as a true friend.

Finally, the greatest love is laying down our lives for one another. This is the love Jesus demonstrated on the cross. It’s a self-giving, sacrificial love that puts the beloved first. Jesus loves us like this, and he asks us to love one another the same way.

It’s a tough call, but nothing else really qualifies as love. This week our task will be to open ourselves to learn to love like this a little more.

 To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click here.