Memory of Jesus crucified

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Remembrance of the prayer for the new martyrs of the Twentieth Century presided over by John Paul II at the Coliseum in Rome with the representatives of Christian churches during the Great Jubilee of the year 2000.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 15,12-17

This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do what I command you. I shall no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know the master's business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father. You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name. My command to you is to love one another.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." Jesus does not simply say "love one another," he also adds the measure that this reciprocal love must have: "As I have loved you." Indeed, we could already have deduced the nature of evangelical love from the allegory of the vine: the sap with which the vine nourishes the branches is Jesus' own love. Consequently, the disciples' love is not just any love; it does not come from them or from their traditions, personality, or upbringing. Gospel love is a gift that comes from Jesus himself. It is agape, that is, the love of God that is poured into our hearts. It is a totally gratuitous love that forgets itself and will even give one's life for others. This is how Jesus loved. Jesus explains this new relationship with the dimension of friendship. God already called Abraham his "friend" and not his servant because God did not keep anything hidden from him. Likewise, Jesus does not have servants, only friends. The word "friend" is a demanding word for Jesus' very life. He feels friendship for all, even Judas, who is about to betray him. And if we absolutely have to name a preference in this divine friendship, it is that which God has for the weakest and the poorest, sinners and the excluded. It is a preference that we should all live and that should appear more clearly in the Church. Preferential love for the poor is the mark that identifies the divine quality of love. It is the prophecy that Christians are called to bear witness to in this time.