Gospel: (John 13:31-33)
When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and God will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
The gospels tells us over and over in ever so many ways that love means self-sacrifice. In many human ways we already do this and could think of no other way to act: parents sacrifice plenty for their children; spouses know that love often demands self-sacrifice; we readily respond to others’ tragedies with gifts of money and service; we reach out to the perfect stranger on the street who is in need. In fact, we act out of the love that Jesus commands in this gospel by doing the everyday things we do because we share in Jesus mission when we love. And if an examination of our lives suggests that perhaps we are not so self-sacrificing as Jesus, then this gospel is an invitation to love more completely. (Living Liturgy, p.124)
Jesus tells us “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” These words mean much to Vincent de Paul and Frederic Ozanam, and indeed to all members of the Society. There are millions who watch pictures of poverty on our television screens and feel generous towards the poor. Their reaction, so often, goes no further than feeling. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, however, imitates Jesus in that you are not content to feel generous, but you show your generosity at a particular time and place. The Society has always been recognized for its practical charity. It is a mystery how God could love mankind, disfigured by sin and infidelity. Likewise, it is a mystery of God that you, as members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, are able to love people who are disfigured by the effects of poverty and injustice, and who are often so unattractive in their poverty. As you work for and visit the poor, take heart from the thought that you are indeed the disciples of Jesus! (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p. 731)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)
How does our love show that we are disciples of Jesus?
For the grace to be the disciples of Jesus, we pray:
-Grant us the grace to be kind and loving.
For the poor we serve,
-Grant us the grace to be non-judgmental.
For the Society of St. Vincent de Paul,
-Grant all members the spirit of Frederic and Vincent. Amen