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"To abide in Jesus' love...."

    As I sat on the bus on my ride home, a little kid climbed onto the bus, scanned the ticket for his mother and skipped to the nearest available seat. As he ran, the child was flapping a butterfly he made with beads around, pretending that it was flying. With a large grin on his face that stretched from ear to ear he shouted in excitement to all the people on the bus " Look! Its a butterfly!" There was no one on that bus that did not have a smile on their face.

     This weekends Gospel is a direct continuation from last weekends gospel. In these Gospels Jesus is saying his discloser to his disciples before he dies and his mission for them. Next weekend we celebrate the feast of the Ascension of Jesus and so it is fitting that we hear these final commissioning words from Jesus, before he leaves.

      In todays Gospel we hear Jesus say the word love nine times. Before Jesus leaves his disciples he leaves them with his final commandment: " Love one another as I have loved you"  (Jn 15: 12).  The whole Gospel can be summed up into one word, and that word is love. Jesus came into the world to institute a new kind and a new way of loving each other. It is this love that Jesus shared that captivated many people to follow this new way of living. Mother Teresa is one of the first people that came into my mind. She set herself apart from the riches of her family, to help the poor, rejected and those classified as 'unclean.' It is those people whom Jesus associated with himself, and it is with those people whom Jesus challenges us to associate ourselves with.

     Jesus expresses in his discloser about our need to abide in his love. Google intriguingly defines abide as "[to] accept or act in accordance with." However,  in the case of Jesus' discloser, abide would mean "accept and act in accordance with." To abide in Jesus' love we must accept his love and share it with one another. Sharing his love is what he wants us to do when he says "Love one another." It is the times when we wash each others feet that we love on another. When we can humble ourselves and be kind to one another. 

     I find it a special coincidence that this weekends reading corresponds with mothers day. Today the focus of the reading are on love and the mission of mother (and father) is to love their children. The whole job of a parent is to love, protect and take care of there child. Mothers, bring forth life, feed their child, and can love a child in many ways that we don't know. All of these qualities Jesus expresses in the gospels that his father also has.A mother loves her child more that anyone else can, and it is in this love that a relationship if formed between the new born child and the mother.  Last weekend we heard that God prunes all the branches that bear no fruit. In a similar way, parents correct and guide their children to bear fruit. 

     The whole purpose of abiding in his love, Jesus explains, is to "bear much fruit" (Jn 15: 16) It is through our everyday actions of love, unity, and acceptance that we are able to bear fruit. It is only through remaining in Gods love that we can truly bear fruit. To bear fruit we must abide in Gods love. To abide in Gods love means that we have experienced His love in an intimate way in our life. We can only experience this intimacy when we pray. We can and should pray anywhere, but there is a uniqueness to praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament that we cannot get anywhere else.It is the Eucharist that must be the source of our strength.  In our prayer our intimacy with God relies on our willingness to accept  Christ continuously and our eagerness to follow his Son, Jesus daily. 

     When we can reach the intimacy with God and experience his love in our life, we are able to share it with others. This Jesus says, must be our joy. "I have said these things to you... so that your joy may be complete." In this saying, Jesus tells us that true happiness comes when we accept and act as his disciple. Jesus is the root of our joy, and it is because we are first loved that we can love each other. 

     Like the child that leaped on the bus with happiness and joy, so we must also come and experience true joy in serving Christ. We serve Christ when we serve our brothers and sisters. Not just our brothers and sister in faith but also those who do not know Christ, or those whom we do not know. May we come to love God and to love our Mothers. For our mothers, in a way, are an expression of Gods love for us on earth, May we come to find true joy in loving one another. 

May we come to love. 


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