The core of the Catholic faith is love – God loves us! The message of this Gospel passage calls us to do the same; to love each other and spread joy.
Jesus tells us that we are his friends if we do what he commands us to. At first, I found this statement confusing, but through further reflection, I realised it applies in my daily life. I find myself instinctively doing what pleases my friends and family, not because I want to look good in their eyes or because I am afraid of losing my relationship, but because I love them. Jesus loves us like a close friend, not a servant, and as friends we can confide in him and ask for help.
Our love for each other must have that quality too. Jesus tells us that we did not choose him, but he chose us so we can bear fruit that will last. I have noticed that throughout my time at high school, I have become close friends and made deep connections with people I didn’t know, people I wouldn’t have chosen as friends. However, by having an open heart and trying to spread love, I have made loyal friendships that have borne much fruit. They have supported me through times of stress and encouraged me to be my best.
Jesus’ true message in this passage is to do this: be open and loving, treat others as friends not strangers. We can live this message in our lives through simple gestures like greeting someone at work we don’t know and offering a support to a friend or family member. By doing this we can all bear rich fruit that will last.