Today’s Thoughts: On Holy Thursday during the Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper we heard the verses of John’s Gospel that lead into to those we hear today. Jesus has washed the feet of his followers and we learn that Judas has dirtied his hands by betrayal. Jesus is back at the table and Jesus begins the Good-News, Bad-News of his last hours with his friends. The bad news is that he is going to be with them for only a little while longer. The good news is that he will be revealed in all his glory, upon the Cross. Jesus over the next four chapters of John’s Gospel will make sure that his message is clear enough for his friends to understand.
What Jesus make most clear and which he will repeat in chapter fifteen, is that he wishes them to love one another and by this love stay together as well as increase in fruitfulness. It is by this love for one another that they will be recognized and draw others to friendship with God.
Jesus commands a “new” kind of love which is meant to bring back light, reverence, respect for what is restoring what God did with the first command at creation. The disciples are commanded to love each other into life as Jesus has done with them. Jesus has given them as much as they can handle. Now he is urging them to love outside the circle, beyond the eleven. They are to encourage others to reverence themselves as gifts prepared to be given in gratitude to others.
In our world not all of us enter the process of bringing new sacred life into this circle of love. Yet, we are all commanded to co-create, and co-recover the lives within our life’s circle. When understood, this “new commandment” urges us beyond the emotional experience of love. We are missioned to continue God’s love. We might say that through us God continues to say, “Let there be light” because of us. “Let there be love” because of how we live. Imagine all that! That is mighty “new commandment” and a commandment which surpasses all others.
Yet if we look around our world, we have the opposite power as well. There is our ability to also not love, to de-create. It is the “old commandment” which Satan gave to Adam and Eve. However, Jesus is inviting his disciples and us to accept our being loved by God and having accepted that, we are challenged to gracefully be instruments of attracting others into the circle of life. If we love others, we want them to be, not more than they can be, but more of the God-loved persons that they are. The more we love others, the more they have the chance to love themselves, the more the circle of life, the community of life, called Church, will be able to grow larger, deeper. The more we come to know our true selves, the more we will want to share with others the love of God.
Jesus handed his life over to us before he handed his life over to the Cross. We are now commanded to be the instruments - sacraments - making his creative love a real presence in the world.
Have a great Sunday everyone and don’t forget to give God a little time today!
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Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...