Daily Reflection – 5/24/19
Jesus said to his disciples: “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 15:12-17)
Today Jesus tells us to love one another as He loved us. Wow! That is quite a mandate! Is Jesus telling us to “give our all” as He did? Jesus loved us so deeply that He was willing to die for us! What a tremendous gift He gave us. The question for us is: are we willing to “die” for one another?
Jesus asks us to “die” for one another. Jesus does not literally mean we are to “die.” Yet, when we give fully and freely of ourselves to the people in our lives, in a sense, we are dying to ourselves. We are putting others first, rather than ourselves. We freely give of our time, attention, care and love. Is there a better gift we can give to the people we love and cherish? What better gift can we give to our world?
Take a moment and ask yourself: who are the people who “die” for you? What are the gifts you receive from them: love, attention, care, a phone call, interest or help when you need it? Could there be any better gifts to receive? Yet, we often take these seemingly “small” gifts for granted. I invite you to take a few moments this evening and consciously remember the “gifts” you received today. Then remember the people who gifted you! Give thanks to God (and perhaps to them) for their presence in your life!
Equally as important, have you loved them back? What about a friend who moved away? Do you go out of your way to keep in touch? What about your use of the words “thank you?’ Are they the stopping point for your appreciation of a loving act or loving word or loving presence? Or do you extend the love inherent in “thank you?” by an act of kindness?
Let me share a personal note. Part of my ministry involves weekly visitations of the nursing homes and assisted care living facilities within our parish boundaries (there are 12 of them). On each visit, I leave humbled and filled. Humbled because I see the effects of loving words and small acts of kindness on those that receive little attention. Filled because those moments of being with each resident bring me indescribable job. With each person, I am focused solely on that person. In those moments, I am filled with warmth, and love and joy.
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.
Prayer of The Day
Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Prayer of Ignatius Loyola)
God not only chooses us to belong to Him, He also chooses us for His mission. He wants to use us to go and bear fruit for His Kingdom. He wants to use us for a sacred purpose and a divine calling. No matter how “unqualified” we may feel at times to make a difference, we must remember that God does not see us that way. Rather, He sees the infinite potential within each of us and chooses to use that potential for the building up of His Kingdom.