From the desk of Ms. Kathleen Cook, Director of Religious Education
Theme: The love of Jesus fills our hearts with joy.
Summary: The entire fifteenth chapter of Saint John’s Gospel places its emphasis on the virtue of love. The disciples are given the commandment to be of love in all things, and in doing so, they prove that they are connected to Jesus Christ. This Gospel focuses on the love that must exist among the disciples. This becomes the basis and foundation for them loving those who are outside their community. The old saying you cannot give what you don’t have applies here. It would be impossible to express love and care for those outside your community unless you first love those who share your beliefs. We are called to reveal this love to others through the way we live our lives rather than by our words alone. Love in both word and action is the ideal.
Scripture: Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.” John 15:9-17
Jesus said in Scripture today, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me.Remain in my love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:9, 11)
Does that mean that nothing bad will ever happen in your life? No, of course not, but even when you are sad, you can still have joy in your heart because you know that Jesus loves you.
Heavenly Father, we know that you love your Son and that your Son loves us.Help us to remain in his love so that we will be filled with joy. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
Reflect: If a word or phrase from the Gospel captures your heart, sit quietly for several minutes, repeating it to yourself and asking God to show you how it applies to your life.
Or reflect and possibly journal on the following question: Whom am I being called to love, even though I don’t yet like the person?
Suggested book that compliments today’s Gospel:
The Runaway Bunny
Written by: Margaret Wise Brown
Family Discussion: In family life, we have many opportunities to show love in action. Each time we postpone a task to tend to the needs of another, we show ourselves to be on the path to following the example of love shown to us by Jesus. Sometimes the sacrifices we are called upon to make for others are small. But these small choices to love and to serve others prepare us for the larger choices and sacrifices that we may be called upon to make. If we are people who have practiced showing our love for others with generosity, we will also be people who are willing to lay down our lives for those we love.
As you gather as a family, talk about the meaning of the word generosity. Ask each family member to describe an action that shows generosity. To be generous is to give freely to others without counting the cost. Recall that generosity is one of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit. Introduce today’s Gospel reading by saying that Jesus taught us to be generous in showing our love for one another. Read together today’s Gospel, John 15:9-17. What examples did Jesus give to us that show this kind of love? (washing his disciples’ feet; accepting death on the cross) Jesus helps us to show this kind of love to others. In today’s Gospel, Jesus promised that God will give us whatever we ask for. One of the things we can ask for from God is a generous spirit so that we can love others as Jesus did. Conclude in prayer together by praying Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s Prayer for Generosity.