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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Thoughts on Saturday's Gospel

JN 15:9-17

Today Jesus tells us to "keep his commandments" and to "love one another as I have loved you". By keeping Jesus' commandments we will remain in his love and in the love of the Father. To keep Jesus' commandments we must love one another, even if it means sacrificing our lives - for, "no one has a greater love" than to lay down one's life for one's friends.

These are not new commands but a re-enforcement of the Shema's commands that we love God above all things and our neighbor as ourself.

In today's society, it is difficult to call for obedience. We value our independence and give it up only grudgingly. "What's in it for me?" is a question of some degree of importance for people today. I think Augustine put it well when he said, "Love God and do what you will". That is, if we love God and love one another than we will only want to do what God commands we will be obedient not out compulsion or fear, but out of love - not because we have to but because we want to. Our joy will be in the joy of the Father and the Son, it will be complete.

Therefore, when we look at our own lives and relationships with God, do we find that we truly do love one another with the love of Jesus? If we do so, we will bear great fruit - the fruit that comes from love.


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