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May 15, 2020

Jn 15: 12-17

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved 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 do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 

You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Looking for the helpers

In today’s Gospel, Jesus doesn’t just ask us to love another.  He commands it.  Even in the most ordinary of times, it can be difficult sometimes to love even those closest to us – even to love and forgive ourselves can be challenging.  

Yet in extraordinary times, people consistently step forward and love unconditionally.  Fred Rogers recalls his mother asking him during tragedies to “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

It may be a soldier in battle protecting others, a doctor or nurse helping someone battle a deadly infectious disease, or a first responder saving the lives of others.  We are all fortunate that there are many who “lay down their life for a friend.” These heroes know that we are all connected and worthy.  Love will overcome.

Who inspires you to love one another?  How can you love others more?  Who is most in need of your love?

Tom Cattapan is the Associate Director of the Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL and a graduate of Marquette University

Prayer

We Are One With You

O God, we are one with you.
You have made us one with you.
You have taught us that if we are open to one another,
you dwell in us.
Help us to preserve this openness
and to fight for it with all our hearts.
Help us to realize that there can be no understanding
where there is mutual rejection.
O God, in accepting one another
wholeheartedly, fully, completely,
we accept you,
and we thank you,
and we adore you,
and we love you with our whole being,
because our being is your being,
our spirit is rooted in your spirit.
Fill us then with love,
and let us be bound together with love
as we go our diverse ways,
united in this one spirit
which makes you present in the world,
and which makes you witness to
the ultimate reality that is love.
Love has overcome.
Love is victorious.

Amen.

—Thomas Merton

 

Troy Bengford

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