May 8th, 2023

The Gospel according to John (14:21-26)

Jesus said to his disciples: “”Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”” Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “”Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?”” Jesus answered and said to him, “”Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. “”I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name– he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.””

Reflection: We ALL want to love and want to be loved and. We build our social circle with the love of the people we know and with new people we meet. Our parents loved us no matter what we did. Oh Yes, there were consequences to pay but they still loved us. 

I was a mischieful kid, teenager and OK, adult too. Now let me clarify, I wasn’t a bad kid, but I was always a mischief-maker. I recall many times doing these things and getting “busted”. My parents would yell at me these words, “DAMMIT RAY”! That’s when I knew it was time for some punishment, some consequence, or some retribution. This occurrence happened so many times in my life as a kid, I always thought that “DAMMIT” was my first name! Anyway, even though my parents reprimanded me with some jail sentence. I still knew that they loved me unconditionally. You see, I was born with a sliver spoon in my mouth. I was born in East LA and lived in a tiny two-bedroom house and shared my bedroom with 3 siblings and we all loved each other.

The same concept applies to today’s scripture. Jesus loves us no matter what path or decision we choose to do. It’s that simple. It is us that choose not to have Jesus at our side OR we choose to accept him only when we need him. And yet, He still loves us unconditionally with His “perfect” love for us. It’s so perfect, it’s hard for us to understand this. 

‘Love is proved in deeds not words’ Saint Ignatius gave. We love the Lord by keeping God’s word, by doing what that word indicates to us. In doing the will of God we grow at the same time in our relationship with God and our knowledge of God. In times of prayer, we can recall our working for God in the past and consider our working with God in the future.

The image of ‘home’ is strong in the gospel – Jesus would visit the house of Zacchaeus, visit the home of Peter, and makes home in each of us. He knocks at the door and waits to be invited into our space and our lives. He is not a crowding visitor but one who accepts what he sees and enjoys our welcome. Prayer is our time of welcoming Jesus into our day and our lives.

The Holy Spirit is already active in my life when I am reminded of God’s word to me, when I am encouraged to act as Jesus did. I recognize that God’s Spirit already moves in me as I pray that I might yield to it more.

You are not “saved” by behaving, but by believing in the “Word of God” through scripture. You are not given the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit because you behave well, but because you are a Believer in Jesus. So I still have a chance for heaven. I was born with that silver spoon because I was loved by my family, my community, and my God therefore, I was capable of loving back.

Action of the Day: Find someone to offer your love to.

Audio Reflection:

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