John 15:17

These things I command you, that you love one another.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Our Lord had said, I have ordained that you should walk and bring forth fruit. Love is this fruit. Wherefore, He proceeds: These things I command you, that you love one another. Hence the Apostle said, The fruit of the Spirit is love (Gal 5:22), and enumerates all other graces as springing from this source. Well then does our Lord commend love, as if it were the only thing commanded: seeing that without it nothing can profit, with it nothing be wanting, whereby a man is made good. For why should the members exalt themselves above the head? You refuse to be in the body, if you are not willing, with the head, to endure the hatred of the world. For love’s sake let us be patient; the world must hate us, whom it sees hate whatever it loves; If you were of the world, the world would love his own. He said this to the whole Church which is often called the world; as God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself (2 Cor 5:19). The whole world then is the Church, and the whole world hates t...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
1. In the Gospel lesson which precedes this one, the Lord had said: You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and appointed you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain; that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you. On these words you remember that we have already discoursed, as the Lord enabled us. But here, that is, in the succeeding lesson which you have heard read, He says: These things I command you, that you love one another. And thereby we are to understand that this is our fruit, of which He had said, I have chosen you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain. And what He subjoined, That whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you, He will certainly give us if we love one another; seeing that this very thing He has also given us, in choosing us when we had no fruit, because we had chosen Him not; and appointing us that we should bring forth fr...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
These things I command you, &c. He says these things in the plural to signify that there were indeed many particular precepts commanded by Him, but that all of them were included in the one common and easy precept of love, so that if one fulfils that, one fulfils all. Secondly, You may explain more simply with S. Chrysostom if you take the conjunction that to signify the end. Then the meaning will be, These things which I have spoken concerning My love I have said with this only end in view, that ye should have mutual love among yourselves, and that thus ye should endure all things for the salvation of men. To this pertains the exposition of S. Augustine (Tract87), "Because He had said, I have placed you that ye should go and bear fruit, now He saith, These things I command you, wishing to teach that the fruit which we are to bear must be love of our neighbour." And again, "The fruit of the Spirit, saith the apostle, is charity. Concerning this therefore He gives commandment. Deserved...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
For shall we not allow that the choosing out of those still faithless and astray to obedience to God is the work of the highest love of all? But this is undeniable. And Paul hastened to do this when he said: We are ambassadors therefore on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beseech you on behalf of Christ, be ye reconciled to God. So also does Peter, saying boldly to the Jews: And now, brethren, I wot that in ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. Repent ye therefore and be baptized every one of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. You see then how and with what zeal they meet those who have not believed, and bring to them the word which they have not sought, not making it necessary for these in their ignorance to choose themselves as their teachers, but anticipating in this even him who has as yet been unwilling to learn any elementary truth. But since our Saviour's words have this addition, that ye should go and bear fruit and that your fruit sho...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
They observed it in order to calumniate it, as we read in the Psalms, The ungodly sees the righteousness .

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
For the dispraise of the perverse, is our praise. There is nothing wrong in not pleasing those who do not please God. For no one can by one and the same act please God, and the enemies of God. He proves himself no friend to God, who pleases His enemy; and he whose soul is in subjection to the Truth, will have to contend with the enemies of that Truth. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Or thus: I have said that I lay down My life for you, and that I first chose you. I have said this not by way of reproach, but to induce you to love one another. Then as they were about to suffer persecution and reproach, He bids them not to grieve, but rejoice on that account: If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you: as if to say, I know it is a hard trial, but you will endure it for My sake. As if Christ’s suffering were not consolation enough, He consoles them still further by telling them, the hatred of the world would be an evidence of their goodness; so that they ought rather to grieve if they were loved by the world, as that would be evidence of their wickedness. As if He said, you must not be disturbed at having to share My sufferings; for you are not better than I. Then follows another consolation, viz. that the Father is despised and injured with them: But all these things will they do unto you for My name’s sake, because they know not Him that s...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
That is, It is not to upbraid, that I tell you that I lay down My life for you, or that I ran to meet you, but in order to lead you into friendship. Then, since the being persecuted and insulted by the many, was a grievous and intolerable thing, and enough to humble even a lofty soul, therefore, after having said ten thousand things first, Christ entered upon this matter. Having first smoothed their minds, He thus proceeds to these points, showing that these things too were for their exceeding advantage, as He had also shown that the others were. For as He had told them that they ought not to grieve, but rather to rejoice, because I go to the Father, (since He did this not as deserting but as greatly loving them,) so here also He shows that they ought to rejoice, not grieve. And observe how He effects this. He said not, I know that the action is grievous, but bear for My sake, since for My sake also ye suffer, for this reason was not yet sufficient to console them; wherefore letting ...

Theophilus of Antioch

AD 184
Or thus: If, He says, they have persecuted your Lord, much more will they persecute you; if they had persecuted Him, but kept His commandments they would keep yours also.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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