Thursday, May 7, 2015

Love! Love! Love! Joy! Joy! Joy!

The Gospel passage read at Mass today, May 7, is from the Gospel of John, Chapter 15:  “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 might be in you and your joy might be complete.”   

One might ask:  “What are the commandments that we must keep in order to remain in Jesus’ love?”  The answer lies in the Gospel passage at Mass for Friday, May 8, which is the continuation of the Gospel for May 7.  Verse 12 says:  “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”  He repeats this in verse 17:  “This I command you:  love one another.”  Jesus’ comments here reminded me of the question posed to him by the scribe in the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 12:  “Which is the first of all the commandments?”  Jesus’ response was “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.  The second is this:  “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

John’s report of God’s love for us and our love for one another in his Gospel Chapter 15 turns into a real fascination in his first letter, John 1, Chapter 4:  “God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him” and “Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

As John said in his Gospel, the result of all this shared love is joy.  If we love God and love our neighbor, God’s joy will be in us and our joy will be complete.  Who does not want God’s joy and who does not want their joy to be complete?  

My prayer for today:  Lord, please give us the grace to love you with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and help us to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Amen.

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