“Gusto ko lang naman lumigaya.” (I just wanted to be happy.) “Kailan kaya ako lubusang sasaya?” (When will I be completely happy?) I heard these lines from some of my friends who have experienced broken-heartedness and failures. I thought about them as I pondered the reason why Jesus told his disciples in today’s gospel that “if you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love… I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete.” If this statement from Jesus is the key to complete happiness, why is it so important “to keep His commandments” to achieve perfect joy?

Jesus’ commandments are difficult to follow since it almost borders on the ironic and the impossible. How could someone love one’s enemies? It is not even easy to carry one’s cross. It also seems impossible to love one another as He loves us! But how could following all these precepts of the Lord make our joy complete? These questions occupied my mind until I remembered that St. Thomas Aquinas taught that man’s ultimate happiness is God. The key to complete happiness should be to possess God. Jesus told us how to possess God: by remaining in His love, and following His commands.

I also realized that what Jesus has commanded, He has exemplified and lived. There could be no other way to better resemble Jesus than following how he acts, speaks and thinks. There is no other way to remain in His love than in trying to live always in love. There could be no other way of being united more to Jesus than to live as He has lived and loved as He has loved. May God grant us the courage and commitment to always remain in Jesus’ love so that our happiness may be complete.

By: Sem. Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco

Today’s Gospel

Jn 15:9-17

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”

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