Gospel: (John 15:9-17) Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love 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 have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name He may give you. This I command you: love one another.”
Reflection: The Gospel boils down to something really quite simple: Remain in Jesus’ love… “Abide in me as I abide in you”…keep the commandments, love one another. Yes, the command is simple, but the demand is imposing: lay down our lives. Keeping God’s commandments is laying down our lives—we surrender our will to doing God’s will and in this is the dying. Caring for and reaching out to others is laying down our lives—also a dying. Doing little things every day, not because we have to but because we see the other as the beloved of God, is dying. We choose all these and other ways of dying because we know this is the cost of discipleship; this is why we need the gift of the Spirit; this is why we prepare for Pentecost. (Living Liturgy, p.132)
Vincentian Meditation: St. Vincent was a great inspiration to Frederic Ozanam in his life, work and writings. For Vincent, however, and for Frederic, it was the charity of Christ which pressed them on to do what they did for the poor of their time. 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 reflecting into this dark world the light and the love of God. (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p.68)
Discussion: How have you seen Vincentians reflecting the love and light of Christ into this dark world?