Lectio Divina: 2022-05-13

Lectio Divina for this Friday took the readings for the Fifth Sunday in Easter Year C.

John 13:31-35 “I give you a new commandment: love one another.”

Please, let’s keep on praying for peace.

One

Friends:

Jesus had earlier summed up what is often called the Great Commandment, combining: “love God and love your neighbour as yourself”.

Now he states what this means in practice: “love one another AS I HAVE LOVED YOU”.

Perfect teaching – the general case and the specific example.

And it is this demonstration of love which will confirm their – and our – discipleship.

Does everybody recognise us by this?

Pax

Two

Dear Jesus, how tenderly you greet us; “My little children.” The words gently touch my deepest heart. I will listen as to the Father himself. These are your “dying words”, as it were, Jesus, to your family: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

How have you loved us? With such tenderness; deep compassion; understanding; with appreciation of the Father’s gift in each of us. You have loved us in joy, in companionship, in sadness and in laughter and rejoicing. In love you shared what the Father spoke to you and you showed us the way.

You have served us, becoming as the least among us. In the time passed you washed your apostles’ feet, today you regularly become our very food. You listen to us in our every need and our desire for forgiveness, granting wholeheartedly everything we ask that is good for us and for others.

You gave up your spirit for us, the last sigh of your human energy, not holding back on any bodily pain nor any drop of your blood. You fasted, prayed and fought temptation for us.

O, Lord, let it be, let it be that I can love others as you have loved and continue to love me!

You spoke to your apostles in this way “after Judas had gone out”. I pray for all who go their own way as I have often done, that your word, your love will find a way back for them. Let me also help them find a way back.

Three

“If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.”

When Jesus spoke these words He spoke them to me, to all of us. Do I have love for everyone? My immediate answer is no. When I reflect on my answer I tell myself that if I love God I can’t possibly not love what He has created. If I don’t love what God has created I can’t possibly love God. That fills me with horror. So what am I to do? I say I love God so I am a hypocrite if I don’t love everyone. There are some people who are very difficult to love because of the dreadful things they do. I, as a sinner, am one of them but God loves us all regardless of what we do. Everyone was created by God and God cannot create anything bad so there are no bad people just people who do bad things.

God help me to see the good in everyone and to continue to pray for those whose actions cause so much suffering to others. Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.

God bless you all

Four

Judas had gone out

Judas had just betrayed Jesus. Jesus must have loved Judas with unselfish love but lost him.

To be a disciple of Jesus I must love those I find difficult to love, to be a true disciple.

Would there be enough evidence to convict me today of being a Christian?

Five

You are my disciples

Every day is a new beginning. A day to come to God and ask Him to be present in all we do, to help us live this day as He would have us live. To listen with His ears and see with His eyes. To reach out to others and treat them with the same tenderness that He treats us.

We live in a broken world where hurt people hurt people. I believe that God is the only one who can heal those wounds, so can I set my will aside so that they can catch a glimpse of His love in me and want more? Can I look at myself through His eyes and see where my behaviour may separate rather than bring us together and take steps to change that?

I cannot be the person God wants me to be without His help so I must start my day in prayer and meditation and ask for His guidance. Every encounter is an opportunity for another to glimpse the Jesus in me. Please show me how I can get out of the way so that they too can feel the love You have for them.

Six

Love is a small word of four syllables but so powerful in so many ways. Jesus asks us to love one another as he has loved us. I ask myself what does Jesus loving me mean to me and can I truly accept his love? If I don’t then how can I love others in the way that he means. God loves us all unconditionally, compassionately, with no judgement and we are asked to do the same.

Love isn’t all hearts and roses and feelings but something we can choose/decide to do. It can be so difficult and I know I often fail but love is what we are called to be and to do.

Love and blessings

Seven

Dear friends,

‘By this love you have for one another, everybody will know that you are my disciples’

Challenging Gospel for me. Why? Well, I find particularly difficult to forgive those who have hurt/are hurting so so much my family and me…

And yet Jesus said in this Gospel I have to love them? And not only loving them, but loving them as Jesus loves me/ us? How? Not on my own forces, surely.

Jesus is certainly the model to follow, the model I aspire to resemble, one day, a bit at least. Jesus calls me, us, all His followers to mirror the love He has for us, for all people, to this to be the sign that we are His disciples. I am a very poor example of disciple.

Now comes to mind the words of a Xaverian Priest saying me, ‘you can’t forgive them, because you don’t love them’, undoubtedly true. Come back to square one.

And yet…another Xaverian Father told me, on other occasion…’Ah, you don’t get it, this means that you don’t have to wish them anything bad’. Wow, still is room for improvement for me in the section of forgiven, and loving, but even in the worst times, I don’t wish anybody any bad thing to happen, less what they are doing to me, or my family. Great!, There is still hope for me then.

Nevertheless, still, I know I can’t do anything on my own, thus, dear Holy Spirit, could you, please, give me a hand with it? Could you help me to forgive, and to love as Jesus loves me? Many thanks.

In Jesus’ Name I pray.