Today is Friday the 20th of May in the fifth week of Ordinary time.
The monks of Glenstal Abbey sing Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est. Wherever love is true, God is there. Where can you see the God of love, present in the here and now?
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor. Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur. Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum. Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur: Ne nos mente dividamur, caveamus. Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites. Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Simul quoque cum beatis videamus, Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus: Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum, Saecula per infinita saeculorum. Amen.
Where charity and love are, there God is. The love of Christ has gathered us into one. Let us exult, and in Him be joyful. Let us fear and let us love the living God. And from a sincere heart let us love each other (and Him).
Where charity and love are, there God is. Therefore, whensoever we are gathered as one: Lest we in mind be divided, let us beware. Let cease malicious quarrels, let strife give way. And in the midst of us be Christ our God.
Where charity and love are, there God is. Together also with the blessed may we see, Gloriously, Thy countenance, O Christ our God: A joy which is immense, and also approved: Through infinite ages of ages. Amen.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.
‘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.
In today’s reading we are reminded of Jesus’ commandment to love one another as he has loved us. There may be times when this commandment is a challenge.
Who might need your love right now?
Perhaps there is someone you know who is difficult to love?
‘No one has a greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’
Do you recall a time when a friend made a sacrifice for you? What impact did this have on you?
Perhaps also an occasion when you have sacrificially loved another. Talk with God about these times.
As you hear the reading again, notice what stirs in you…
Jesus tells us that we are his friends because he has chosen us, appointed us, and made known everything to us that he has heard from his Father.
What does his friendship mean to you?
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.