Today is Friday the 15 May, in the 5th week of Easter.
The monks of Glenstal Abbey sing Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est. Wherever love is true, God is there. Jesus’ commandment is to love one another as he loved us. As I enter prayer, I place myself by my imagination in the midst of the friends who followed Jesus throughout his life. I ask him for the grace to enter into a strong friendship with him as well.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.
John 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.
"Love one another as I have loved you," Jesus tells us. St. Ignatius tells us that love is more in deeds than in words. I look back on the recent times during the pandemic where I have made a gesture of love towards a neighbour…
Jesus' disciples are not his servants, but his friends to whom he makes the Father known. Jesus brings me, too, to this closeness with the Father. I allow Jesus' words to resound in me: "I no longer call you servants, but friends" and I notice what thoughts or emotions stir in me as a response…
"I have chosen you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last." Listening to this word means deciding to become disciple-missionaries, so that we may love Jesus better and follow him more. In my own words, I tell the Lord of my desire to follow him.
I listen to this reading again, considering that I am Jesus’ friend, and that he is addressing me personally….
If Jesus considers me to be His friend, then I can address Him as I would a friend. I can ask God for something, sure that he will listen, since he himself calls me to approach.
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.