Friday, May 23, 2014

Everything I Have Heard from My Father

Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter

By Melanie Rigney

(The letter the apostles and presbyters sent to the community at Antioch advised :) “It is the decision of the holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell.” ... When the people read it, they were delighted with the exhortation. (Acts 15:28-29, 31)

I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord. (Psalms 57:10a)

Jesus said to his disciples: “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.” (John 15:12-15)

Lord, I ask for the grace and strength to call Your Son friend.

No more secrets.

Imagine the puzzlement of the apostles at the Last Supper. According to John, Jesus has told them a great many things in a short amount of time: He’s going away, but he’ll be back. They will be capable of much. There are no more secrets; he’s shared all the knowledge God has given him, every last bit. Can’t you just see their jaws drop, at that bit of news in particular?

But hearing what the Father commands and being obedient to it, as we and the apostles know all too well, can be two different things. It’s easy to love your brothers and sisters in concept; it’s harder to love someone who injures you physically or emotionally, intentionally or unintentionally. It’s easy to love God with all your heart and soul in concept; it’s harder to love Him when you’ve received a life-threatening medical prognosis, or you’ve been out of work for a year, your family’s hungry and foreclosure proceedings have begun.

And yet, that’s precisely what would happen with Jesus. He never wavered from the Truth, no matter how deep the wounds from his scourging would cut, no matter how fast the disciples would flee from him in the coming hours. There was no big secret or mystery to it; he loved. It was as simple and as profound as that.

Do an act of friendship for someone you find it difficult to be around, or offer up a prayer of adoration to the Lord despite your hard feelings about something that’s happening in your life.

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