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Love – never a means, but an end

May 26, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014: Fifth Thursday of Easter

Acts 15:7-21. It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God.
John 15:9-11. Remain in my love, that your joy might be complete.

Gospel Reflection:

Christ is risen!  R. He is risen indeed!

This is another short burst by John; so short and to the point I almost want to just ask, “Any questions,” and call it good.  [Wryly]  Almost

The Evangelist gives us this short Scripture passage.  Short, he’s making his point as we get a sense of urgency; Christ is approaching his Ascension.  Again, we hear him defining love; His love for us, the Father’s love for him; and implying therefore the Father’s love for us.  Love is the principle of the relation between the Father to the Son.  Once again, it’s all about love.

Try to be a disciple and picture what the Spirit is.  Fr. Robert Barron writes, “What’s God like?  God is generous.  From all eternity the Father forgets himself, gives rise to the Son.  The Son looks back at the Father – falls in love.  The Spirit – the Advocate – is the mutual love of the Father and the Son.  Whenever we make the Sign of the Cross we are invoking is a great community of divine generosity.  The Father doesn’t cling to himself, he others himself in the Son, the Son doesn’t cling to himself, he others himself in the Father.  The Spirit is the mutual othering of the Father and the Son.  And so, God is generous love.

This love, that Gods wills for us, has brought the Church into being.

So what do we have to do?  Two things.  First: Obedience and discipline!!  As disciples – hence the word discipline – as disciples now as was then, we must continue to keep ourselves worthy of the protection of Christ’s love.  This is done by obedience to the will of Christ, and by following his example.  And what was his example?  Love.  Unconditional othering to the other: our family, our friends, our neighbors, strangers, and yes, remember, our enemies.  Hard?  Yes, v-er-y hard.  But the love of Christ, gives the Christian the ability to live up to the ideal.  How do we become disciplined?  We practice.  A lot!!  Hold yourself up to the Gospels – the life of Christ.  How are you doing?  Need more discipline?  Get even closer to the Gospel.  Read it, believe it, live it!  Then we can become obedient.  Gentlemen, you remember that word from your vows – O-bey.  It’s almost a resignation, right?  We become obedient to the Will of Christ.  Not a lot – at first – but as we get closer to the Gospels, we become more obedient, as the things that hold us back from holiness, slip off of us like nightfall giving way to dawn.

The second thing to remember is this: it’s a promise.  It’s a promise.  Jesus tells us, “I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.”  The reward for obedience and discipline is joy.  We get joy.  Eternal joy.  And not only our joy, but all those around us who become open to God.



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