READINGS for 2008-04-24
“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love… that your joy may be complete.” – John 15:10-11
“House rules? I only have one,” the priest said to our retreat class regarding the use of the facility. Discarding a traditional long list of do’s and don’ts, he laid out the shortest but most powerful house rules in the planet. He simply said, “Treat this retreat house as you would your own home that you love so dearly.”
Jesus’ command in the verses above is simple too. “Love one another.” Period. Now it makes a lot sense why He said, “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love.” This is more than just a law. In no unclear terms, He is also showing us the way to a life of joy.
Just take a look at what’s common with the following: a working mother who skips lunch just to be able to buy a blue Superman shirt for her boy, a sleep depraved husband who attends to his sick wife, and a brilliant medical student who opts to be a missionary in the mountains. All these people have the joy that the world may not understand and can never take away!
Today’s message in short: His command of love is joy! Jon Escoto
Do you want joy in your life? Simply love. This is God’s command to you.
Lord, I need your “command.” Give me the grace that I may fully obey it, that I may find joy and have it complete in my life.
Peter recognizes that in the mind of God there is no ultimate distinction between Jew and Gentile. What I mean by this is that He loves all men and women with the same love and has the same desire for the salvation of all. The Gospel is not a message for a small exclusive group of people but for all mankind. As such we should always be on the lookout for opportunities to draw others into the life of grace we know so well.
7 After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, “My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the holy Spirit just as he did us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts. 10 Why, then, are you now putting God to the test by placing on the shoulders of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they.” 12 The whole assembly fell silent, and they listened while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles through them. 13 After they had fallen silent, James responded, “My brothers, listen to me. 14 Symeon has described how God first concerned himself with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name. 15 The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written: 16 ‘After this I shall return and rebuild the fallen hut of David; from its ruins I shall rebuild it and raise it up again, 17 so that the rest of humanity may seek out the Lord, even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked. Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things, 18 known from of old.’ 19 It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood. 21 For Moses, for generations now, has had those who proclaim him in every town, as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath.”
P S A L M
Psalm 96: 1-2a, 2b-3, 10
R: Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all you lands. 2 Sing to the LORD; bless his name. (R) Announce his salvation, day after day. 3 Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. (R) 10 Say among the nations the LORD is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he governs the peoples with equity. (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus exhorts His disciples to remain in His love. Jesus knows that one of the reasons why His ministry has been so powerful is that it was not just dependent upon His own resources. He was able to draw from His union with His Father in Heaven as well. This is true wisdom that is easy to understand. A fighter on his own in battle is mucheasier to defeat than one who stands as part of an army.
9 “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. 10 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. 11 “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”
think:A fighter on his own in battle is much easier to defeat than one who stands as part of an army.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Numbers 28-30
WHY AND HOW CAN HE?
Have you ever wondered why Jesus loves us so much? We even expect that Jesus should love us the way He does. But we do not bother to ask how Jesus can love us so much. We think that He loves us simply because He is God. But today, let us pause and ask: How can Jesus love us even if we are undeserving of His love?
Jesus Himself answers our question today. “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you,” He declares in the Gospel. Jesus loves us because the Father loves Him first. He loves us so much because the Father loves Him so much as well. As the Father loves Him, so does Jesus love us and loves us in the same measure of His Father’s love for Him. The love of the Father for Him is like a well from where Jesus draws His love for us. And because the Father is eternal, His love for Jesus is everlasting; so too is Jesus’ love for us. Because the Father is immortal, His love for Jesus is undying; so too is Jesus’ love for us. Because the Father is selfless, He loves Jesus selflessly; so too is Jesus’ love for us. If someone approaches you and asks you why and how can Jesus be in love with us, read to him today’s Gospel.
Jesus commands us to love one another as He loves us. Some people may ask whether love can really be commanded or not. Following the logic of love between the Father and Jesus and between Jesus and us, the answer to that question is this: Yes, love can be commanded because it has first been given. Jesus can command us to love one another because He has first loved us. He loves us so that we may love.
Remain in that love.Fr. Bobby Titco
Reflection Question: “The true measure of love is love without measure.” (St. Francis de Sales)
Jesus, thank You for loving me as the Father loves You. That is so overwhelming, Jesus. Help me to love others as You love me. Amen.
St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, martyr, pray for us.
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