Monday, April 30, 2018

Love One Another - May 6, 2018

The Sixth Sunday of Easter- Year B


Reading I:  Acts 10: 25-26, 34-35,  44-48

Psalm:
  98

Reading II:  1 John 4:7-10

Gospel:  John 15:9-17


In today’s Gospel, we are reminded of some of Jesus’ last words to his disciples.

“This is my commandment:
Love one another as I love you.”


This reminds me of a story I once heard that when St. John, the beloved disciple was old, he used to give the same sermon at each Mass. Thinking that he might be becoming senile, he was reminded that he had given that sermon before. St. John’s response was that — that was the whole message.  Although this was just a story passed down, it does emphasize that “Love” is the Good News.

“Love...as I love you.” How does the Lord love? We see his compassion in many of the stories in the Gospels. He raises the widow’s son, aware that she would have no one to care for her since she had no other sons. He stops the stoning of a woman caught in adultery, aware of the injustices toward women. He provides for His mother from the cross, giving her into the care of the disciple John. He sends the Holy Spirit to strengthen His disciples since He knows their weaknesses.

Jesus also shows us that our God is a forgiving, merciful God. When Peter has denied him, Jesus realizes how awful Peter feels. Therefore, he gives Peter an opportunity to make up for his three denials, by asking him three times if he loves Him. How relieved Peter must have felt when he was able to proclaim his love. Jesus then gives him a way of proving it by caring for His sheep and lambs.

Jesus tells the woman who washes His feet with her tears that her sins are forgiven because she has loved much. From the cross, He forgives the thief who asks Him to remember him in paradise.  Finally, He asks the Father to forgive those who crucify him, saying “Father forgive them for they do not know what they do!”

Jesus is also a sacrificing God. He did not have to redeem us in the way He did. He could have done it in an easier way. His love is extravagant! This is brought out beautifully in the prayer of Passover:

Dayenu”

Had He brought us out from Egypt and not executed judgment against them,

It would have been enough! Dayenu!

Had He executed judgment against them and not destroyed their idols,

It would been enough! Dayenu!

Had He destroyed their idols and not slain their firstborn,

It would been enough! Dayenu!

Had He slain their first born and not given us their possessions,

It would have been enough! Dayenu!

Had He given us their possessions and not divided the sea for us,

It would have been enough! Dayenu!

Had He divided the sea for us and not brought us through it dry-shod,

It would have been enough! Dayenu!

Had He brought us through it dry-shod and not drowned our oppressors in it,

It would have been enough! Dayenu!

Had He drowned our oppressors in it and not sustained us in the wilderness for forty years, It would have been enough! Dayenu!

Had He sustained us in the wilderness for forty years and not fed us manna,

It would have been enough Dayenu!

Had He fed us manna and not given us the Sabbath,

It would have been enough! Dayenu!

Had He given us the Sabbath and not brought us to Mount Sinai,

It would have been enough! Dayenu!

Had he brought us to Mount Sinai, and not given us the Torah,

It would have been enough! Dayenu!

Had he given us the Torah and not brought us in the land of Israel,

It would have been enough! Dayenu!

Had He brought us into the Land of Israel and not built the temple for us,

It would have been enough! Dayenu!



As Christians we can add so many more examples of the Lord’s awesome love and add: “It would have been enough!”

Finally, our Lord is a challenging God, asking us to take up our crosses and follow Him.  Also, He asks us to love as He loves... at least to try. In His mercy, He promises to be with us in it all.

  Reflection Exercise:     Using the Dayenu prayer as a model, write a prayer expressing your appreciation of the Lord’s action in your life.



Spanish Translation of Reflection Above...
My Lord and My God

En el Evangelio de hoy, se nos recuerda algunas de las últimas palabras de Jesús a sus discípulos.

“Este es mi mandamiento:
Ámense como yo los amo”.

Esto me recuerda una historia que escuché una vez cuando San Juan, el discípulo amado era viejo, solía dar el mismo sermón en cada Misa. Pensando que podría volverse senil, se le recordó que había dado ese sermón antes . La respuesta de San Juan fue que ese fue todo el mensaje. Aunque esta fue solo una historia transmitida, sí enfatiza que “Amor” es la Buena Nueva.

“Love...as I love you.” How does the Lord love? We see his compassion in many of the stories in the Gospels. He raises the widow’s son, aware that she would have no one to care for her since she had no other sons. He stops the stoning of a woman caught in adultery, aware of the injustices toward women. He provides for His mother from the cross, giving her into the care of the disciple John. He sends the Holy Spirit to strengthen His disciples since He knows their weaknesses.

Jesús también nos muestra que nuestro Dios es un Dios misericordioso y perdonador. Cuando Pedro lo negó, Jesús se da cuenta de lo mal que se siente Pedro. Por lo tanto, le da a Peter la oportunidad de compensar sus tres negativas, preguntándole tres veces si lo ama. Qué alivio sintió Peter cuando pudo proclamar su amor. Jesús entonces le da una forma de probarlo cuidando de sus ovejas y corderos.

Jesús le dice a la mujer que lava Sus pies con sus lágrimas que sus pecados son perdonados porque ella ha amado mucho. Desde la cruz, Él perdona al ladrón que le pide que lo recuerde en el paraíso. Finalmente, le pide al Padre que perdone a aquellos que lo crucificaron, diciendo: “¡Padre, perdónalos porque no saben lo que hacen!”

Jesús también es un Dios sacrificado. Él no tuvo que redimirnos de la manera en que lo hizo. Él podría haberlo hecho de una manera más fácil. ¡Su amor es extravagante! Esto se traduce maravillosamente en la oración de la Pascua:

Dayenu”


Él nos sacó de Egipto y no ejecutó juicio contra ellos,


¡Hubiera sido suficiente! Dayenu!


Había ejecutado juicio contra ellos y no había destruido sus ídolos,


¡Hubiera sido suficiente! Dayenu!


Había destruido a sus ídolos y no había matado a su primogénito,


¡Hubiera sido suficiente! Dayenu!


Si hubiera matado a sus primogénitos y no nos hubiera dado sus posesiones,


¡Hubiera sido suficiente! Dayenu!


Nos había dado sus posesiones y no nos había separado el mar,


¡Hubiera sido suficiente! Dayenu!


¿Había dividido el mar para nosotros y no nos había traído a través de él seco,


¡Hubiera sido suficiente! Dayenu!


Si Él nos hubiera traído a través de ella, calzado en seco y no ahogado a nuestros opresores en él,


¡Hubiera sido suficiente! Dayenu!


Si hubiera ahogado a nuestros opresores en él y no nos hubiera mantenido en el desierto durante cuarenta años, ¡habría sido suficiente! Dayenu!


Él nos sostuvo en el desierto por cuarenta años y no nos alimentó con maná,


¡Hubiera sido suficiente Dayenu!


Nos había alimentado con maná y no nos había dado el sábado,


¡Hubiera sido suficiente! Dayenu!


Nos había dado el sábado y no nos había traído al Monte Sinaí,


¡Hubiera sido suficiente! Dayenu!


Si él nos hubiera traído al Monte Sinaí, y no nos hubiera dado la Torá,


¡Hubiera sido suficiente! Dayenu!


Si él nos hubiera dado la Torá y no nos hubiera traído a la tierra de Israel,


¡Hubiera sido suficiente! Dayenu!


Si Él nos hubiera traído a la Tierra de Israel y no hubiera edificado el templo para nosotros,


¡Hubiera sido suficiente! Dayenu!



Como cristianos, podemos agregar muchos más ejemplos del asombroso amor del Señor y agregar: “¡Hubiera sido suficiente!”

Finalmente, nuestro Señor es un Dios desafiante, pidiéndonos que tomemos nuestras cruces y lo sigamos. Además, nos pide que amemos como Él ama ... al menos para intentarlo. En Su misericordia, Él promete estar con nosotros en todo esto.

 Pregunta de reflexión:    Usando la oración de Dayenu como modelo, escribe una oración que exprese tu aprecio por la acción del Señor en tu vida.

2 comments:

  1. Dear Sr. Annette,
    Your reflection exercise presents us with an opportunity to pause, review, and reflect on periods of our life, see it as a journey and, hopefully, recognize that Jesus has been accompanying us all along. If our review leaves us discontent, sad, perhaps feeling neglected or abandoned, then the activity provides fertile soil for us to dig deeper into what our needs are and, going forward, taking the necessary steps to get us on the path we desire. I’m sharing a brief reflection of my life from a spiritual growth perspective. However, after having caught the spirit of the exercise, I intend to revisit it and consider my journey through various tracks of life, such as healing of relationships, passage from illness to restored health, the parenting journey with each child, paths to forgiveness…it offers so much potential – it’s like journaling in retrospect. The act of writing our thoughts down give the opportunity to recognize the personal growth (perhaps even remember the painful processes) that contribute to our views and values today. Following is my Prayer of “Sufficiency” which reflects God’s extravagant love back to me.
    Dayenu
    Had He freed me from the clutches of child abuse and not directed me to my grandparent’s home,
    It would have been enough! Dayenu!
    Had He guided me to the safety of my grandparent’s home and not gifted me with a friend,
    It would have been enough! Dayenu!
    Had He given me a friend and not designed a lifelong friendship,
    It would have been enough! Dayenu!
    Had He orchestrated a treasured relationship and not implanted shared values,
    It would have been enough! Dayenu!
    Had He embedded deep values and not opened new doors,
    It would have been enough! Dayenu!
    Had He opened new doors and not connected me to a true spiritual mentor,
    It would have been enough! Dayenu!
    Had He chosen a mentor to open me to my Spiritual Being and not provided any other resources,
    It would have been enough! Dayenu!
    Had He provided sufficient resources and not sustained me through the challenge of single parenting,
    It would have been enough! Dayenu!
    Had He sustained me in the turbulent waters of life and not restored me to wholeness in Christ,
    It would have been enough! Dayenu!
    Had he awakened me to the awareness of His Presence and not given me expression,
    It would have been enough! Dayenu!
    Had He given me outlet for worship and not brought me to Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (SBS),
    It would have been enough! Dayenu!
    Had He brought me to the SBS and not led me to the Associates of the SBS,
    It would have been enough! Dayenu!
    Had He brought me to the Associates of the SBS, and not led me to our Scripture Sharing Group,
    It would have been enough! Dayenu!
    But how very grateful I am to have all these influences and blessings in my life to enrich my journey,
    Thank you, Lord. Your grace is more than enough.
    Pat C., ASBS



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  2. Sr. Therese M. Warner, SBSMay 1, 2018 at 9:07 AM

    Thank you, Sister for introducing me to the "Dayenu Prayer"!
    - Marvelous, absolutely marvelous!

    Regarding the "commandment of love": Yes, as our Catholic Catechism explains, "The entire law of the Gospel is contained in the 'new commandment' of Jesus" ("that you love one another as I have loved you.") CCC #1823


    The following excerpts are from a homily delivered by Father Charles Irvin:

    "Friendship is a beautiful thing. The friendship of God is an infinitely beautiful and marvelously mysterious gift He has given us. In deep humility and sacrifice, God has gone to a terrific amount of trouble in order to give Himself to you and me in the love of friendship."


    "In our minds we can make God out to be anything we fancy. We can let our emotions, fears, griefs and anxieties shape our attitudes toward Him. . . but, eventually, we are going to have to face up to the reality of what He says about Himself and how He has chosen to relate to us. "I no longer call you slaves, I call you friends."


    "Some questions now face us. How do I regard friendship? How do I treat friends who are in my life? Do I allow God to be my "Friend", with all the acceptance, respect and honesty involved in being a friend? It is a challenge. Knowing that it is a challenge, Jesus sends us the One we need, the One who can empower us and equip us to meet the challenge - the Holy Spirit. He is our Advocate. He is the One who inspires us and counsels us. If we give Him time and attention we can truly follow in the way, the truth and the life of Jesus-- Jesus Who has risen from the dead and overcome the worst that the evil one can throw at us."


    "God offers. We respond, and if we respond to God's life-giving Spirit, then the power of Christ's Love will conquer all and we will be the persons God created us to be."









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