GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 19TH MAY 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 19TH MAY 2017
FRIDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER
FIRST READING: Acts 15:22-31
PSALM: Psalm 57:8-10, 12
GOSPEL: John 15:12-17
THEME: LOVE ONE ANOTHER
Pope Paul VI writes, “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” (Evangelii Nuntiandi 41).
The very life of a witness proclaims the Gospel and attracts people into the Kingdom of God. Fire burns in the heart of a witness – it is the fire of love. This fire manifests in words and actions, and its warmth can be felt by all. Love is the engine of evangelization. Any kind of preaching devoid of love is another form of noise-making.
Our Gospel text for today forms part of a series of speeches Jesus gave during his last supper with his disciples. At that meal, he desired to summarise all that he had been teaching his disciples during his public ministry. By his action (washing of the disciples’ feet) and words, he laid emphasis on the most important virtue of discipleship – LOVE.
Jesus tells his disciples, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn. 15:12-13). The love that Jesus proposes to his followers has a sacrificial character. It is about laying down one’s life for another. In this regard, Jesus offers himself as a model.
A community can be likened to a fish pond. When the water is healthy, the fishes multiply but when the water is polluted, one by one they die. Similarly, in Christian communities where there is love, the “waters” are fresh, the members are healthy and their number increases. Such communities grow rapidly. On the other hand, where there is strife, bitterness and hateful feelings, a community becomes stagnant and the members gradually “die”.
The commandment to love is a call to witness. It is a mission to infuse love into a world that has been torn apart by hatred. May we step forth today to light every candle in the dark with the fire of love that burns in our hearts.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, you first loved me. Filled with your love, I choose to respond to your call to love my brothers and sisters. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).