Thursday, May 22, 2014
Friday Fifth Week of Easter
Friday Fifth Week of Easter
Acts 15: 22-31 / Ps 57: 8-9, 10 and 12 / Jn 15: 12-17
Reading: Acts 15:22-31
2Then the apostles and elders together with the whole Church decided to choose representatives from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. These were Judas, known as Barsabbas, and Silas, both leading men among the brothers. They took with them the following letter: Greetings from the apostles and elders, your brothers, to the believers of non-Jewish birth in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. We have heard that some persons from among us have worried you with their discussions and troubled your peace of mind. They were not appointed by us. But now, it has seemed right to us in an assembly, to choose representatives and to send them to you, along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated their lives to the service of our Lord Jesus Christ. We send you then Judas and Silas who themselves will give you these instructions by word of mouth. We, with the Holy Spirit, have decided not to put any other burden on you except what is necessary: You are to abstain from blood from the meat of strangled animals and from prohibited marriages. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell." After saying good-bye, the messengers went to Antioch, where they assembled the community and handed them the letter. When they read the news, all were delighted with the encouragement it gave them.
Gospel: John 15:12-17
This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this, to give one's life for one's friends; and you are my friends if you do what I command you. I shall not call you servants any more, because servants do not know what their master is about. Instead I have called you friends, since I have made known to you everything I learned from my Father. You did not choose me; it was I who chose you and sent you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. And everything you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. This is my command, that you love one another.
There are four observations worth noting in this commandment of love: First, love we are told here, isn't about feeling. Love entails a relationship which goes beyond the realm of feelings and emotions. Though emotions are involved, at its heart, love is a decision to seek the good of others. Loving as Jesus does means offering what is the most loving thing you can do for a particular person in a particular moment. A true lover gives the best he can offer and is willing to sacrifice everything he has for the beloved. Jesus gave his very life for us so that we have everlasting life with the Father. Sometimes, laying down our lives as Jesus does entails nothing more than to help someone who is handicapped, to take the time to visit the sick, or to offer comfort to someone who is in grief.
Second, Jesus is seeking intimate friendship with us, but He gives condition for his friendship. Friendship with Jesus is not a casual relationship. It demands "abiding," being loyal and obedient. We just can't love another without some surrender of our will
Third, Jesus is accepting us as his friends, not as his slaves. A slave is expected to do what his master instructs him to do, whether or not he likes it, and whether or not he understands why he is commanded to do it. But as Jesus' friends, we share a mutual trust and affection with him. As we become Jesus' friends, he will disclose his plans and purposes to us. He will share his thinking, his goals, and his motivations for doing things. We will come to know his heart and mind. We will experience a greater degree of insight into the Scriptures. We will hear the voice of God more clearly. Our thoughts will become more like his thoughts. We will carry out his purposes on earth as they are in heaven.
Fourth, Jesus wants us to love one another just as he loves us, whole-heartedly and without reserve. His love fills our hearts and transforms our minds and frees us to give ourselves in loving service to others. If we open our hearts to his love and obey his command to love our neighbor, then we will bear much fruit in our lives, fruit that will last for eternity.
During this Easter season, let us develop our friendship with Jesus, from casual to intimate so that we may become like Jesus willing to be put out for others, desirous to bear fruit that is pleasing to our loving Father.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
... for families who are in need of healing.
... for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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