Saturday, May 14, 2016
1) Opening prayer
your apostle Matthias was a witness
to the life and death of Jesus Christ
and to his glorious resurrection.
May also today your people bear witness
to the life of your Son
by living his life as best as they can,
and radiating the joy
of people who are rising with him
to a new and deeper life.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
2) Gospel Reading - John 15,9-17
Jesus said to his disciples. I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. 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 own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends, if you do what I command you. I shall no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know the master's business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father.
You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name. My command to you is to love one another.
• Today is the Feast of the Apostle Mathias. The Gospel of John 15, 9-17 has already been meditated in April. Let us take some of the points which were considered that day.
• John 15, 9-11: Remain in my love, the source of perfect joy. Jesus remains in the love of the Father observing the commandments that he received from him. We remain in the love of Jesus observing the commandments that he has left for us. And we should observe them in the same measure in which he observed the commandments of the Father: “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. And in this union of love of the Father and of Jesus is found the source of true joy: “I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete”.
• John 15, 12-13: To love one another as he has loved us. The commandment of Jesus is only one: “to love one another as he has loved us!” (Jn 15, 12) Jesus exceeds the Old Testament. The ancient criterion was the following: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Lv 18, 19). The new criterion is: “Love one another as I have loved you”. It is the phrase that we sing even today and which says: “There is no greater love than to give one’s life for one’s brother!”
• John 15, 14-15: Friends and not servants. You are my friends if you do what I command you”, that is, the practise of love up to the point of the total gift of oneself! Immediately Jesus presents a very high ideal for the life of his disciples. He says: “I shall no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. I call you friends because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father!” Jesus no longer had any secrets for his disciples. He tells us everything that he has heard from the Father! Behold the wonderful ideal of life in community: to reach a total transparency, to the point of not having any secrets among us and to have full trust with one another, to be able to speak about the experience of God that we have and of life, and thus, be able to mutually enrich one another. The first Christians succeeded to reach this ideal after many years: “they had one only heart and one only soul” (Ac 4, 32; 1, 14; 2, 42-46).
• John 15, 16-17: Jesus has chosen us. We have not chosen Jesus. He met us, called us and entrusted a mission to us to go and bear fruit, and a fruit which lasts. We need him, but he also wants to need us and our work in order to be able to continue to do today, for the people what he did for the people of Galilee. The last recommendation: This is my commandment: to love one another!”
4) For Personal Confrontation
• To love our neighbour as Jesus has loved us. This is the ideal of every Christian. How do I live it?
• All that I have heard from the Father I make it known to you. This is the ideal of the community: to attain total transparency. How do I live this in my community?
5) Concluding Prayer
Praise, servants of Yahweh,
praise the name of Yahweh.
Blessed be the name of Yahweh,
henceforth and for ever. (Ps 113,1-2)