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Love is a doing word, a verb

In John 14:15 when Jesus states that if you love me keep my commandments, the word for love [agapaté] is a verb, not a noun. Such love is doing something not just a warm feeling inside. In fact if we love Jesus it is obvious by our doing, our keeping of his commandments. It is a mistake to think that means the Old Testament commandments. Many times Jesus said things like you have heard that it was said of old, but I say to you and he gave a new instruction. For instance, the woman caught in adultery was not stoned, but shown mercy. Jesus also did not contradict the Father in these things, but said that these new instructions were from the Father. We are to keep, watch over or hold firmly to these new commandments of Jesus.

When we read translations of John 14:16 where the Paraclete is translated as Advocate, we might ask the question for whom is he an Advocate? In court the Advocate helps the accused. We are accused of sin and corruption. The accuser is the devil (Revelation 12:10). Who is the judge? It is Jesus (2 Timothy 4:1) who will judge on that day (Revelation 20:11-12). Is the Spirit pleading our case before a harsh God just begging for his mercy? Or is it the opposite? Has not God already shown his mercy and love for us by the death and resurrection of Jesus? Is not the Holy Spirit an Advocate who is also pleading God’s case to us, that we do not need to face death if we accept the truth of God’s love demonstrated in Easter?

Jesus loved us and showed it by dying on the cross for the corruption that is in all of us. He calls us to accept that love and to give it away to others, not just as a warm, fuzzy feeling without actions, but in deeds of love. That is why the Church is involved in so much good in our community.

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