Friday, April 29, 2016
1) Opening prayer
Lord our God, loving Father,
you have given us your Son Jesus Christ
as the true vine of life
and our source of strength.
Help us to live his life
as living branches attached to the vine,
and to bear plenty of fruit
of justice, goodness and love.
Let our union with him become visible
in our openness to one another
and in our unity as brothers and sisters,
that he may be visibly present among us
now and for ever.
2) Gospel Reading - John 15,12-17
Jesus said to his disciples: 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 Gospel of John 15, 12-17 has already been meditated a few days ago (..... or it will be read again within a few days). Let us take some of the points considered that day.
• 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
My heart is ready, God, my heart is ready;
I will sing, and make music for you.
Awake, my glory, awake, lyre and harp,
that I may awake the Dawn. (Ps 57,7-8)