May 04, 2015
Monday, 5th Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 14:5–18
Gospel: John 14:21–26
Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever keeps my commandments is the one who loves me. If he loves me, he will also be loved by my Father; I too shall love him and show myself clearly to him.” Judas—not the Iscariot—asked Jesus, “Lord, how can it be that you will show yourself clearly to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word and my Father will love him; and we will come to him and make a room in his home. But if anyone does not love me, he will not keep my words, and these words that you hear are not mine but the Father’s who sent me. “I told you all this while I was still with you. From now on the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of all that I have told you.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Loving God in word is easy because one can just recite his daily prayers religiously, relate to the saints devotedly, participate in the Holy Mass wholeheartedly and keep himself abreast with the latest developments in Church Catechism. But this is only one wing of the bird, so to say. For that fowl of faith to soar high another wing is needed: the wing of deeds.
In loving God concretely one must take into consideration that God takes it personally what we do to our fellowmen. Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters you do to me.” In another Gospel passage he said, “Not all who say ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of God but those who do the will of my Father.” Loving God in word is mere lip service. It becomes genuine when validated in one’s fulfillment of the Love Commandment which necessarily involves one’s relationship with his neighbors.
Loving others is the finer test of the genuineness of one’s love for God because it involves the duty to forgive. The second part of the “Our Father” hints to forgiveness of neighbors as the manner God wants to be loved. Unless one learns to forgive others he cannot complete the Lord’s Prayer at which he addresses God as Father.
The good news is that we also get dividends for ourselves when we forgive. We obtain expiation for our sins because loving in this manner covers a multitude of sins (see 1 Peter 4:8). Moreover, on the basis of the Lord’s Prayer, we can draw more forgiveness from God by merely jacking up the amount of forgiveness we extend to others. It also deepens our relationship with God because each enemy forgiven is a step higher in our relationship with God.
Now who says that loving God is easy? But God is willing to meet us halfway. Pray for the grace and you can start loving him with ease! – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY: God our Father, give us sincere hearts so that we may love you in word and in deed and so come to share in the glory of the kingdom you promise through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in North Africa, who was much older than she, and although generous, was also violent tempered. His mother lived with them and was equally difficult, which proved a constant challenge to St. Monica. She had three children; Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Through her patience and prayers, she was able to convert her husband and his mother to the Catholic faith in 370· He died a year later. Perpetua and Navigius entered the religious Life. St. Augustine was much more difficult, as she had to pray for him for 17 years, begging the prayers of priests who, for a while, tried to avoid her because of her persistence at this seemingly hopeless endeavor. One priest did console her by saying, “it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish.” This thought, coupled with a vision that she had received strengthened her. St. Augustine was baptized by St. Ambrose in 387. St. Monica died later that same year, on the way back to Africa from Rome in the Italian town of Ostia.