A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 15:9-17
Jesus said to his disciples: "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. 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. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. 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. This I command you : love one another."
REFLECTION: " It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you ..."
It all began with God. He willed us to be. He knew our name before we were in our mother's womb. " Before I formed you in the womb I knew you...." (Jeremiah 1:5)
God is constantly reaching out to let us know he loves us. Sometimes it is through people who enter our lives for a short season, those who live in our hearts for a reason, and those people we keep for a lifetime. God wants us to live in him and He made us to want to go back to him.
God has commanded us to love one another. (John 15:17). If we want to be called his friend he has asked us to love as He has loved us. He has asked us to embrace the way of the cross each and every day. And when our will crosses his will then his will must be done. If we accept God's way of love, kindness, patience , truth and wisdom then we will discover the joy of loving and serving and laying down our lives for others. As St John Bosco said--"It is not enough to love the young, they must know that they are loved."
It is not enough to say "I love you", not enough to just pay the donation, and not enough to just pray for intentions. Those whom God has chosen for us to love must KNOW that they are LOVED.
Lives will begin to change, slowly, sometimes in the next generation (as adult children begin to live in the love that they experienced from their parents). But love, forgiveness and mercy will reign when God is in full control. The very first public prayer for the new Church was to ask God to choose the successor of Judas between two candidates. . Matthias ( gift of Yahweh) was the one chosen by God.
Dear Lord, we pray we hear your voice when we are called and that we are open to pray daily the PAPA prayer for priests, the Holy Rosary, and the Divine Chaplet of Mercy. As you constantly reach out to love us , may we also reach out in love to your children.