Daily Reflection – Apr 29, 2016
Friday 29 April 2016
First Reading: Acts 15:22-31
I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord
Psalm 57:8-9, 10 and 12
Gospel Reading: John 15:12-17
Today’s Saint: St Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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 no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
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.”
St Catherine of Sienna, a lay woman devoted to peacemaking and declared a Doctor of the church, wrote with authority, even to Popes. This first Council sends an astounding letter to the Gentiles of Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. “It has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to impose on you no further burden.” They name four “essentials”: we all are to abstain from what has been offered to idols, from blood,” from what has been strangled and from fornication.” Our response from Psalm 57: Our hearts are ready! We will sing and make music!” We are freed from the Law of the Jews, those 613 commandments! We receive from Jesus another, more far reaching command: “…that you love one another as I have loved you.” AS, in the same way that Jesus loves, as deeply, as universally. Where will we get such love? From Jesus, who will “no longer call you servants but friends.” He continues: “…I chose you to go out and bear fruit.”
What would you consider the “essentials” of Christian community? Ask Jesus. How would you describe your experience of friendship? What is your friendship with Jesus like? What would you like it to be? Fruit? What fruit have you gathered throughout your life time? Did you put it in the bank or offer it to Jesus? Or?
Let your Spirit sing within us and make us ready to be free from all but the law of love, and the experience of friendship with Jesus. May we befriend him in all whom we meet today.