Reading I: Deut. 8:2-3,14b-16a
Reading II: 1 Cor 10:16-17
Gospel: John 6:51-68
This year during the month of June, we celebrate the Feasts of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary all in the same week. The next Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day. As I tried to pull together the commonalities, the word “Love” stood out.
Jesus summarized his whole message in that way also when he responded to a question: "What is the greatest of the Commandments?” He said that you must love God, your neighbor and yourself. Throughout history, different laws have been emphasized according to the needs of the people. For example, the Jewish people were forbidden to eat pork. At the time, there was no refrigeration and there was an organism which developed in pork which would make the people very sick if they ate it. The law was given to protect the people’s health.
Many years ago, a college student of mine invited me out to eat with her Jewish boyfriend. He ordered pork as part of his meal. He then explained that there are different branches of the Jewish faith: Orthodox, Conservative, and Reformed. I believe there are more now. The Orthodox still will not eat pork because they believe that is still God’s will. Some other branches tend to believe it was only meant for the time when eating pork was unsafe.
There is no question about the importance of Love. It is found frequently in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures (Old and New Testaments and in other religious scriptures).
The following references of love struck me:
“You are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.”
“ ‘For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
“The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him.”
Jesus also speaks of love many times in the New Testament -
"It was now the day before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. He had always loved those in the world who were his own, and he loved them to the very end."
"And not I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples."
"During his discourse at the Last Supper, Jesus said 'Whoever loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and my Father and I will come to him and live with him."
"At the end of the meal, Jesus prayer to his Father for the disciples and all of us: 'I pray not only for them, but also for those who believe in me because of their message. I pray that they all may be one. Father! May they be in us just as you are in me and I am in you.' "
Also, in William Johnston’s book, The Inner Eye of Love, he notes that “love” is the essence of most religions.
The Feast of Corpus Christi celebrates the Lord’s sacrifice of himself for our salvation and his giving us his Body and Blood under the appearance of bread and wine to express his love and to strengthen us on our Journeys.
On the Feast of the Sacred Heart, we celebrate a devotion requested by Jesus. He appeared to St. Margaret Mary to emphasize his love by revealing his heart. Shortly, after that devotion became popular, the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary followed, emphasizing her maternal love for all her children.
More recently, when Jesus appeared to St. Faustina, he again asked that a devotion be spread with his heart exposed, emphasizing his love and mercy. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is a very appropriate prayer for our times.
The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy is said on the rosary beads.
- The Sign of the Cross
- The Our Father
- The Hail Mary
- The Apostle’s Creed
- On single large beads: Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
- On the 10 small beads: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
- After the 5 decades are prayed,three times pray: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
- The Sign of the Cross
The Chaplet is prayed on EWTN at 3 p.m. est
It is important to thank Jesus for sharing his Father with us when he taught us to pray: ”Our Father.”
We are also celebrating our earthly Fathers whose most valuable gift to their children is love.
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, grandfathers, and those who provide fatherly love for others!