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FRIDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER MAY 20, 2022 FEAST DAY SAINT BERNARDINE OF SIENA


Jacobo Bellini, tempera on wood, 1450-1455



A reading from the holy Gospel according to Jn 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. This I command you: love one another.”


REFLECTION

“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you."


When we hear of father, we immediately think of our own fathers and the love, guidance, care and protection they gave us growing up and always present and helpful when we needed assistance. They pass on their knowledge, as well as their faith, so we can survive and succeed in the world. They do so because they love us as our Father loves us.


Our priests also are our fathers. Our priests love, guide, care and protect us as if we were their own children. They, too, pass on their theological knowledge with their main goal that you arrive in good spiritual condition when God calls us. A good priest puts all his energy and zeal in the salvation of a soul. He does so because he loves us as the Father loves us.


We are so fortunate that our time on earth becomes an opportunity to share the love of a father with one another.


We are told and reminded again, to love one another. St Bernardine of Siena was an Italian Franciscan who preached and spread devotion to the Holy Name. He likewise was a missionary for souls, reconciling cities, fighting heresies, renouncing usury, preaching against gambling and reforming and disciplining the Franciscan order.


While still a student in the University of Siena, in 1400 during the plague, he volunteered to tend to the dying. He and his followers not only tended to the sick but also organized and cleaned the hospital. After the plague he tended to an invalid aunt until her death. At the age of 22, he became a Franciscan.


One would say he should be the "saint of energy". He is an example of what can happen when one gives and shares with others their gifts and what they have been called to do, all with love. St Bernardine did so because he loved others as the Father loves us.


With examples of our fathers, our priests and St Bernardine, our energies should be always present for one another. We, too, can care for one person as well as many people. God, our Father, will give us the grace to do so if it is His will.


Thanking God for our fathers, our priests and St Bernardine of Siena.



God Bless You.

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