Daily Reflection – 5/14/19
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 may 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.”(John 15:9-17)
Most of us have learned that love is a commitment to consistently put another person’s well being and happiness before your own. It’s the love a spouse has for another when he/she puts the other spouse’s needs or desires before one’s own. It’s the love that overlooks another’s faults, and focuses on his/her endearing qualities. It’s the love parents have for their children when they play with a child even though they are really too tired to move. It’s the willingness to lay down one’s life for another to protect that person from pain.
True love is hard. It is demanding. It requires virtue and brings out the best in all involved in the love relationship. Sometimes, it is difficult to love – When the kids or grandkids are whiny or our spouses are annoying. With acquaintances and strangers, it can be even more difficult. We know that all people are God’s children. Unfortunately, it is often hard to see God in them – especially when they are rude, or don’t think the way that we do.
This gospel is beautiful and, if you allow its words into your heart, it can be life-changing.. I especially love the part when Jesus said, “It is not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.” He picked me! He picked me! He picked you! How do we bear fruit that will remain? By preaching on the street corner? By shouting from the mountaintop?
I think that Mother Theresa and St. Therese of Lisieux truly understood and lived this gospel. Their way of life – their goal – was to do everything with love – to see the face of Christ in everyone with whom they interacted. But they were saintly individuals, you might say. Yes, they were. How could Mother Theresa care so tenderly for the dying, the wretched, the foul smelling? How did St. Therese’ treat with only kindness the nuns who were jealous of her and downright mean? They obtained much grace to love like Jesus loves through prayer. Both of these great, yet humble ladies, began their days with extended time in the Presence of our Lord.
We should look to them as shining examples of how we can live Jesus’ command to love one another. A good start would be to extend our prayer time – reading God’s Word and listening to Him in silence – by 5 minutes each day. If you spend 0 minutes now, try 5. If you spend about 5, try 10. God wants to pour grace upon us – to quench our thirst for Him – but we must come to the well to drink – to fill up. Prayer time is when we meet Him at the well! Meet Him there and drink from the bottomless cup of love he offers.
Prayer of The Day
Father, You are the source of life and You always surprise us with Your gifts. Grant us the grace of responding to the call of Your Son Jesus who has called us friends, so that in following Him, our Master and Shepherd, we may learn to observe His commandments, the new and definitive Law that is Himself, the way leading to You and of remaining in You. Through Christ Your Son, our Lord. Amen.
The call of Jesus is to share in the salvation of the world, in making the world a better place to live in for everyone. The follower of Jesus is committed to care of the earth and care for others. Love for the earth and love of each and all is ‘fruit that will last’. It is a high calling, challenging to us at all ages – for the young when making decisions about life and where the gospel of Jesus influences our decision; to follow through on our promise to serve God well at all ages of life, and to surrender much to him in elder years.
The love, the call and our service is at the root of a great and sustaining joy in life as Jesus wants ‘our joy to be complete’ and we join our lives to his vision of the world and how it might be.