Meditation for the Day

Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter, May 24

Loving One Another Is Not An Option; It Is a Commandment Which Our Lord Expects from Each One of Us.

We hear Jesus say to each of us at the end of today’s Gospel Reading, “This I command you: love one another.”

A simple enough task, loving one another. As a Christian people, that is what you and I are called to do – to treat others in the same way we wish to be treated, to love as God loves us.

And yet, as I have stated in previous meditations, when we look at the world in which we live, when we read the newspapers or listen to the news on the radio or television, or follow the news stories over the internet, the very concept of a real, selfLESS love seems to be lacking in so many people – lacking in so many of our brothers and sisters.

If we were to take the time to imagine a world filled with love – a world in which societies and cultures place the needs of others first, a world in which we would find no hatred, no violence of any form, a world in which hunger and disease are eradicated, then we could say that we finally and truly have learned how to love one another selflessly!

We could then say that God’s Kingdom has truly come upon the Earth, as we daily petition our Heavenly Father in the Lord’s Prayer.

But when we look around us, we know that reality paints a much different picture. Selfishness, greed, power, lust, violence – these are all faces of a culture which is sorely lacking in the virtue of selfless love.

Loving one another, as we read in today’s Gospel, is not an option. It is a commandment which our Lord expects from each of His children!

And yet, this commandment is not without a living example for each of us to follow. In today’s Gospel, we find Jesus and the Apostles in the Upper Room. The Last Supper has just finished, and Jesus is sharing with His disciples some of His most intimate thoughts: “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.”

And then, Jesus clarifies the relationship which He asks of each of us, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.”

Being loved by God – being called His friend – is such an awesome gift! And to be able to take that same gift and share it with others whom God places in our lives, makes each of us faithful sons and daughters of God Himself!

Jesus once said in another place, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” They will come to us and make their dwelling within us. What an incredible thought! – that the Eternal and Most Blessed Trinity could love each of us so much that God would dwell within us! And yet, is that not what takes place each time we worthily partake of the Eucharist?

In yesterday’s Gospel, we read, “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…”

To remain in His Love, to keep His commandments, means that we share in a personal friendship, an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ – a relationship which is beyond anything the human mind could ever conceive on its own, for it is a special union with the One who has created us, with the One who had redeemed us for Himself.

In our individual walks of faith, we have come to know and understand that it is God’s desire that all His children embrace His Love. It is God’s desire that His Love becomes the Light which illumines the hearts of His children who have been so sorely seduced by the darkness which has enslaved much of today’s world.

And such is what we see with the Gentiles in our First Reading. Through the witness which Paul and Barnabas gave to their faith in Christ, the eyes of the Gentiles were opened to God’s Truth. Their hearts were opened to the Divine Light Himself – and the Church continued to grow.

Each of us, by virtue of our Baptism into the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, has been called by our Lord Himself to become the extension of His Love, reaching out to those whom He has placed in our individual paths in life.

And in the discipleship to which we are each called, He says to you and me today, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.”

We realize our discipleship in Christ through our individual prayer life. We live our discipleship by the love we share and the example we set for others to follow. As friends and as followers of our Lord, we need to not only hear His message and make it a part of our daily lives, we also need to live it for others to see, so that we, ourselves, may become a holy example – imitating the example of Saint Francis of Assisi himself, who once said to his own followers, “Preach the Gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.”

May Jesus, who is our dearest and most intimate Friend and Brother, fill each of us with His Spirit of Truth, His Spirit of Strengthening, His Spirit of Love – so that both you and I may become to the world around us that example of Divine Light as we reach out, in fulfillment of our Lord’s command, and “love one another”

– as He loves each and every one of us!

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “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.” (John 15:12-15)
  • “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” (John 14:23bcd)
  • “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.” (John 15:16)
  • “Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a pure heart.” (1 Peter 11:22)
  • “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18)
  • “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.” (1 John 4:11)
  • “Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:9-10)
  • “Above all, let your love for one another be intense, because love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
  • “This I command you: love one another.” (John 15:17)

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Prayer for the Day

“Lord, make me an instrument of Your Love.

May I see each circumstance in my life

as an opportunity to grow in Your Mercy.

May I see my environment

as a place to grow in Your Peace.

“When I am tempted to become impatient,

help me to be patient.

“When I am tempted to become unkind,

help me to be kind.

“When I am tempted to become jealous,

help me to be tolerant.

“When I am tempted to become boastful or proud,

help me give You the glory.

“When I am tempted to be rude or selfish,

give me the gift of gentleness.

“When I am tempted to take offense,

help me to let go.

“When I am tempted to become angry with someone,

give me the gift of forgiveness.

“When I am tempted to become resentful,

give me Your power to love.

“All gifts and all charisms come from You.

All will one day come to an end,

with one important exception, the gift of love!

Help me to always love others as You love me. Amen.”

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