By Leonard Piasta, Faith Formation Commission Chair
May 9, 2021
Sixth Sunday of Easter
"Love one another"
Today's gospel from John (Jn 15:9-17) flows from last Sunday's gospel of the vine and the branches. Jesus' discourse with his disciples continues the theme of connection and union between Jesus and his disciples. Jesus tells his disciples of the Father's love for him and his love for the Father and Jesus' love for his disciples. Jesus states to his disciples it was not you who chose me but that I chose you. Jesus presents the disciples they are not lowly slaves that do not what the Master is about. Jesus calls these disciples friends because they do know what the Master is about.
Twice the word "commandment" is used by Jesus. "You will live in my love if you keep my commandments", and, "This is my commandment: Love one another as I have loved you." Jesus uses the word "love" in both sayings." Twice Jesus uses the word "command." "You are my friends if you do what I command you." and "The command I give you is this: That you love another." To command is to order one or direct one and follow or carry out that given command. Commandment sets a standard or a way to live. We think of the Ten Commandments not just as ten laws but as a way to live one's life. Jesus puts forth a command and a commandment to his disciples.
Jesus goes on and emphasizes there is no greater love to lay down one's life for one's friends. It calls for the ultimate act of love. Jesus is demanding this act of love from his disciples. When the disciples follow Jesus' command and commandment then they are bearing fruit and this fruit will endure. Jesus passes on to these disciples that your fruit must endure so ask the Father in his name and he will give you.
To truly love means to give an authentic gift of oneself to another. The Father loves the Son, the son loves the Father, the Son loves his disciples, the disciples love the Son, and the disciples are to love one another even to the extreme of laying down one's life for another. This is the command that Jesus gives his disciples. The ultimate gift of love is when one gives oneself to another. In an earlier passage from the Gospel of John, Jesus tells his disciples, "I give you a new commandment: Love one another, such as my love has been for you, so must your love be for each other. This is how all will know you are my disciples: By your love for one another." (Jn 13:34-35)
This week pray for the people around us who lay down their lives for another in various ways and means because of their love for one another.
Titles of a Mother
On Mother's Day we honor our mothers whether they are our birth mother, stepmother or adopted mother. Being a mother brings many titles along the way in motherhood. We look to the Blessed Virgin Mary who has gained many titles in her role as a mother. She is called: Mother of Jesus, Mother of God, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church, comfort of the afflicted, help of Christians, Mother of good counsel, refuge of sinners, and less we forget. Mother of Perpetual Help. We should also honor St. Anne who is the mother of Mary, the grandmother of Jesus and the patroness of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Here are some of the worthy titles of mothers: Baker of cookies and birthday cakes, giver of hugs and kisses, clothes washer, chief cook, taxi driver, hair dresser, homework tutor, nurse when sick, kisser of boo boos, breadwinner, fixer-upper of broken items and impossible situations, loving arms of comfort, saving grace of school projects, teacher of prayer and faith, shoulder to cry on, supporter and cheerleader, comforter in stormy weather and simply "Mom." And grandmothers also have such worthy titles.
Like the Blessed Mother Mary and St. Anne, our mothers have earned their saintly, holy, and worthy titles and be honored as such by their sons and daughters. Happy Mother's Day!
The following is a Mother's Day blessing:
Leader: For our mothers, who have given us life and love, that we may show them reverence and love, we pray to the Lord.
Leader: For mothers who have lost a child through death, that their faith may give them hope and their family and friends support and counsel them, we pray to the Lord.
Leader: For mothers who have died, that God may bring them into the joy of his kingdom, we pray to the Lord.
Leader: Loving God, as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, so you watch over your Church. Bless these women. that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers. Let their example of their faith and love shine forth. Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honor them always with a spirit of profound respect. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
Leader: And may God bless you all, the Father, and the Son, + and the Holy Spirit.