Word of the day
Reading of the day
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles
ACTS 1:15-17, 20-26
Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers and sisters
(there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons
in the one place).
He said, “My brothers and sisters,
the Scripture had to be fulfilled
which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand
through the mouth of David, concerning Judas,
who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.
Judas was numbered among us
and was allotted a share in this ministry.
For it is written in the Book of Psalms:
Let his encampment become desolate,
and may no one dwell in it.
May another take his office.
Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men
who accompanied us the whole time
the Lord Jesus came and went among us,
beginning from the baptism of John
until the day on which he was taken up from us,
become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas,
who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.
Then they prayed,
“You, Lord, who know the hearts of all,
show which one of these two you have chosen
to take the place in this apostolic ministry
from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.”
Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias,
and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles.
Gospel of the day
From the Gospel according to John
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.
“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”
Words of the Holy Father
There are other loves. The world too proposes other loves to us: love of money, for example, love of vanity, of showing off; love of pride; love of power, and of doing many unjust things in order to have even more power. However, such cases are other loves; they are not of Jesus and are not of the Father. Christ asks us to abide in his love, which is the Father’s love. Think about those other loves which distance us from Jesus’ love, and also to reflect upon the existence of other measures of loving: such as half-hearted loving, which, however, is not loving. It is one thing to wish someone well, and another thing entirely to love someone. Only thus, with these commandments that Jesus has given us, will we abide in Jesus’ love, which is the Father’s love. Without measure. Thus, this love of Christ is not like every other type of love, which can often be lukewarm or self-absorbed. Why does the Lord feel the need to remind us of these things? The response is found in the text: “that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full”. If the Father’s love comes from Jesus, Jesus teaches us the way of love: an open heart, to love without measure, to love by leaving aside all other types of love. (Santa Marta, 18 May 2017)