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A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 15: 12-17

Jesus said to his disciples: "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."

REFLECTION: I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.

Growing up my best friend Maria C always included me in all her family's activities. I was part of her family and spent a great deal of time in her home. I was treated equally amongst her six brothers and one sister. Since I was part of her family, her mother did not spare me her reprimands.

I travelled with her family to Mexico, Europe and spent many summers and Christmas posadas together. We shared secrets, dreams and many a growing pain. Most importantly we shared our Catholic faith and I learned of God's love through her family's examples. We shared our mutual love, affection, joys, sorrows and good will with God as the center of our activities. In our relationship, it was I who received more than I gave. And I thank Maria C for those beautiful memories of growing up with her.

When I look back on those precious years, of my unconditional friendship with Maria C and her family, I am reminded of the overwhelming reckless love of God. He shares all with us, His love, His graces, His words and His Son. God does not run away from us when we do wrong, He never is disloyal, never gossips about us, and always protects us. God always gives me His best. And God has given me more than I could ever give back to Him.

May we share our friendship with God with others and spread the Good News about Him. We can share His Divine Mercy and His forgiveness of our sins. Never let a conversation go by whether talking to the nurse at the hospital, the cashier at the grocery store, your next door neighbor, the mechanic, your spouse or your grandkids without mentioning the unconditional love of God for us. Let others know that the most important thing in our life is God !!

When people meet us, will they think kindly of us? Will they feel the need to come closer to our Lord? And if the answer is no, don't fear, merely ask our Father to give us the graces needed to do the work He has chosen for us.

God Bless You.

PAPA Foundation
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