Memory of the Church

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Today the Gypsy people, including those of Islamic faith, celebrate Saint George, (+330 ca) who died a martyr to free the Church.


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I am the good shepherd,
my sheep listen to my voice,
and they become
one flock and one fold.
.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 15,9-11

I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. 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 own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

I give you a new commandment,
that you love one another.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Continuing his speech to the disciples during the last supper, Jesus openly confesses the nature of his love: "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you." Jesus does not feel he is diminishing himself by saying that his love for the disciples is the fruit of a larger love. Urged by our desire to be at the centre and therefore our need to appear original and not to depend on anyone else, we are ashamed to admit that our happiness depends on the love of someone else who is greater than us. It is the bitter fruit of an individualism that is polluting the whole culture and whose fruit is the crumbling of communion and the weakening of solidarity. Independence from others does not lead to love, but its opposite, to solitude. Loneliness is a very dangerous virus that causes a terrible pandemic: it saddens the soul, withers the heart, weakens the arms, makes us incapable of loving. If we remain in the love of Jesus, we rediscover the taste for mutual love and the dream of that universal brotherhood which God has placed in the heart of every man and woman and which Jesus has re-proposed as the common destination of all the peoples of the earth. Accepting this dream of God about the world is the substance of our life and our joy. Hence the urgency of involving those who have been marginalized and those who are excluded in this revolution of fraternity. The full joy Jesus promised is not made up of small, passing, individual satisfactions, but of being part of God's great plan on the world. True joy can only be found in loving Jesus as he has loved us, making us his brothers and sisters in the great plan of salvation of the world.