The Gospel Today
Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle
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.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”
Reflection (Sem. Mark Ian V. Abu)
When we were young, it was very hard to ask permission to go somewhere else especially when there were no older people with us. We would normally hear our parents or guardians tell us, “Something bad might happen to you there, I will not allow you to go because I love you.”
Later in life when we are already old and we have our own children or young ones to take care of, we realize the importance and truthfulness of those reminders. This is the same with God. God’s direction in our lives comes from His desire that we may attain the best in life and that we may not be in danger.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ passion for life and mission emanates from a deep conviction of His father’s abiding love. His intimate relationship with His Father empowered Him to pass it on to others. His life is the truest example of love lived out to the fullest. He was so consumed by the fire of God’s love that it sustained Him even in His darkest hours. This love is the same love that Jesus is offering each one of us. He is asking us to remain in His love that our joy may be complete. Jesus’ love and friendship with us is rooted in the fact that “He chose us, we did not choose Him.” His love for us is far greater than our love for Him. He is the lover and we are all His beloved.
I wonder how our lives would change if we truly believe in God’s unconditional and merciful love for us. Jesus invites us to share His joy. He gives us all we need to be completely happy; our life, our faith, our vocation, our family, our work and many others. Isn’t it strange that most of the time we tend to choose passing things that will not provide us with lasting joy instead of being faithful followers of Jesus? May Jesus help us to leave these passing things behind to recognize His loving hand gently guiding us toward goodness and true happiness.