My father was a naval officer. When I was a boy, my dad was often away at sea for months on end. These times were hard on our family, and we missed each other terribly. It’s hard being apart from those we love. We want to spend time with them; we want to be close to them; we want to be together.
This is exactly how Jesus feels about us. "Remain in me," he asks us in today’s gospel, "as I remain in you." In John’s gospel, "remain" is a special word that speaks of closeness and intimacy. By wanting to "remain" in us, Jesus is saying that he wants to be as closely united with us as he is with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t want us to go away; he doesn’t want us to live apart; he doesn’t want to have a distant or casual relationship with us. Jesus loves us deeply, and wants us be with us, always.
A popular reflection God’s love, "Just in Case You Forgot," reflects the message of today’s gospel. It concludes like this: "God could live anywhere in the universe, and he chose your heart. Face it, friends, he’s crazy about you! He loves you very much."