Fri, 4 January 2019
O shepherd who walked
in the humble stead
of your flock,
who worked so diligently
among those in your care,
speaking to their hearts;
you who gathered into schools
the little ones,
who saw to the education
of the children…
and all this in a foreign land –
pray for the country in which you ministered,
that its lambs
once again be raised
in the faith
and its strangers
be once again shepherded
by one as anxious as you
for their well-being.
Here let us find the grace of Christ
and the lost.
Fri, 4 January 2019
(1Jn.3:11-21; Ps.100:1-5; Jn.1:43-51)
“We should love one another.”
In our gospel, “first [Jesus] came upon Philip” – whose name means “love” – and invited him to follow Him. Love brought with him one in whom “there is no guile,” and he (Nathanael) declared openly to the Lord: “You are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” And so we must all be of love, and be without deceit. We must all “know that the Lord is God; He made us, His we are; His people, the flock He tends.” The Lord must find us all at peace “under the fig tree” with consciences that have “nothing to charge us with.” And great things wrought by the hand of God we shall see before our eyes.
“The Lord is good,” and we must be like Him. The Lord is of love, and loving as He does we pass “from death to life”: “The way we came to understand love was that He laid down His life for us; we too must lay down our lives for our brothers.” How well John speaks of the love all need in our first reading today. Here is the voice of a man, an apostle in the Spirit of Christ, who loves “in deed and in truth,” and since he does “not merely talk about it,” but lives it, his words are alive with that truth. Love. This is “the message [we] heard from the beginning.” This laying down our lives is our guiding light leading us to the eternal life of heaven.
And so we should “serve the Lord with gladness.” We should “come before Him with joyful song.” We should declare openly that He is God, as our love leads us to do. His “kindness endures forever”; yes, His love is for eternity, and we must come to share in that great gift of love. “The man who does not love is among the living dead,” but he who loves lives forever. The world will hate us because it is not of love; but all the more we should be encouraged to love, to die to the hatred the world brings and find our place in peace under our fig tree with the Lord who is love itself.
Let us love and be of love, brothers and sisters, and we shall live forever with our Lord and the angels of heaven.
O LORD, let us pass
from the death wrought by this world
to life with you in Heaven.
YHWH, may our consciences be clear before you; may we be of love and so be of you who are love. May we be without guile, seeking only you and the peace you bring to our souls. Then we shall praise you in joy forever, for then we will be your own.
O LORD, let us be true to our call to love you and one another. Let it not be only in words that we love but in truth, with our very lives. If we do not act as your Son, how can we call you ‘Father’; how will we know you at all? You dwell in ineffable light with the angels of Heaven, and only by love do we come to that light, only by laying down our lives as Jesus.
LORD, let us know your goodness in our lives that we might enter your gates with thanksgiving for all the blessings we share with your saints. In freedom may we bless your Name, you who look upon us with kindness. To your side let us be guided by our desire to love.