The Gospel Today
Memorial of St. Athanasius Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Jn 15: 9-11
Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.
“I have told you this so that
my joy might be in you and
your joy might be complete.”
Reflection (Sem. Jul Elden D. Nuique)
In the psycho-spiritual integration activities in the seminary, I learned that I had strong abandonment issues that I acquired as an infant; childhood experiences enforced those issues and adolescence reinforced them even more. Those issues conditioned me to develop control issues in order to counter them. My tendency to dominate helped to prevent situations that triggered my abandonment issues. Sad to say, no matter how much I tried to regulate the circumstances, life always brought surprises, not always pleasant, that sparked off my anger. It was my anger, which could be harmful to others as well as me, which initiated that tracing of my reactions.
Through the undesirable traits that I learned about myself, the eminent truth is the love of God. When I was mired in self-loathing and self-condemnation, the love of God for me brought me out to safety. The fact that he continued to sustain my life is undeniable proof of his love. All the gifts that he gave me, material and non-material, are additional evidence of his love. The people who cared for me by giving me both positive and negative feedback showed the love of God. The priestly ministry that he instilled in me and that he keeps alive in me attests to his love.
How can I make a return to God for all the love he has given me? I can do this by loving others in the same way that God has loved me. The Decalogue, the Beatitudes, and the Gospel values, are sources of God’s commandments, which Jesus lived out. If we live as Jesus lived, we become closer to God, and we open ourselves to the love of God.