Jesus offers a word of praise to his Heavenly Father for the goodness he has poured out on creation. This grace is not because of our own perfection; rather, the Lord meets us in our weakness and blesses us with his merciful love. It begs a simple question: Are we open to receive it?
The Lord teaches the disciples about love by using examples from his Heavenly Father. While it is sometimes easy to love, the real test happens when we overcome the obstacles within and without, choosing to love others as God loves us.
This feast day fosters both personal piety and a communal connection within the Church to Jesus Christ, our savior, redeemer, brother and friend. The Lord offers his heart for the salvation of the world as he gives his life on the Cross. May the love in his heart fill up what is lacking in ours!
Jesus teaches that love – of God and one another – is the greatest commandment. Why? Because we are called into relationship with the Lord and each other, and these relationships are nurtured, strengthened and guided by our willingness to love one another as God loves us.
The reading from the Second Letter to Timothy offers the exhortation to “stir into flame the gift of God” and live with conviction and courage. This gift is our Christian faith; and just as a tiny spark can produce a bonfire, so too, our faith can provide the spiritual spark that ignites our lives for service in the world as we draw near to the Lord and one another.
After the resurrection, Jesus asks Peter three times “Do you love me?” It’s a powerful reminder that God’s answer to human weakness and limitation is love…and our invitation is to offer our love to the Lord – regardless of our imperfections – with an open heart.
Jesus prays to the Father that the disciples might share in his joy. As a Fruit of the Spirit, joy is a quality that arises from our love with God and one another. May we look for joy in our lives today and share the joy of Jesus Christ with those we meet.