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News and Schedules - From the Pastor

The first line of the gospel is from Jesus: I love you. The final words tell us how to follow him: Love one another, something repeated in the epistle from 1 John. In just those two readings some form of the word love is used 19 times. How can we go through life wondering if we are worthy of that? John’s Gospel gives us a clear message: Jesus is our friend, and he loves us. His words to us are simple. The opening sentence of the gospel says, “As the Father loves me, so I also love you.”

It doesn’t get any clearer. Jesus loves us. We don’t have to be perfect, sinless or even devout. Jesus asks us, “remain in my love.” It’s an invitation to remain in the awareness that as we go through our daily lives, we are loved deeply by Jesus in everything we do. More than that, Jesus tells us “you are my friends.”

It’s astonishing to realize that Jesus selected us to be his friends. “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you.” We have been chosen to share our lives with Jesus as he shares his with us. It’s a connection of joy. The good news, Jesus says, is joy for both of us. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” But more than that, Jesus says that because he chose us, we are sent “to go and bear great fruit that will remain.” Our role as Christians is to live out the teachings of Jesus. “Love one another.”

It’s easy to find tragedy and conflict everywhere. What is our part in bringing love to those in pain? His commandment to us is simple: “Love one another.” Just love one another, and “remain in me.”

How do we take up this mantle he has given us? How can I shape my life to follow Jesus’ example of loving more closely? Maybe praying for or working to help the poor and marginalized around us.

Perhaps it just means for us to lighten up in our own lives and remain in his love. It could be as simple as being kinder to those around us. Stop being crabby and judgmental. Not assume that my way is the correct way, that my beliefs are true, no matter how ardently I believe them.

We accept the fierce love of Jesus by following his request for us to go and bear fruit that will remain. His final words to us echo in our lives: Love one another. We bear fruit every day by sharing the love we have been given and carrying it throughout our days and lives.

And since this is Mother’s Day, why not show your love to your mother in a special way! Afterall she was the one who loved you first as she bore you. And for those of us whose mothers are deceased, why not remember them in the Mother’s Day Novena.

I also want to take the opportunity to congratulate all of our children who received their First Holy Communion this weekend. Congratulations! May this be the first of many communions!

Father Damian