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6th Sunday of Easter

May 1st, 2016

 

Love One Another

 



 
 
 
“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop, but a good word maketh it glad.” Proverbs 12:25

 

John: 15:9 – 17

 

       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 may 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.”


 

 

            Today we hear from Jesus, a message about love, and perhaps we might be inclined to think:  “Now love is something I can sure relate to.”  After all, there are expressions of love all around us throughout our life.  The joy and wonder of the love that a newly wedded couple have for each other, and how such a love can sustain them for many years to come; the tender love a mother and father have for their newborn child, a life born because of their love for each other.  There are expressions of love for parents, grandparents, grandchildren, brothers and sisters, and the friends we have in our life.  We enhance our love up with Christmas trees and presents, with Easter baskets and chocolate bunnies, with red roses and chocolates hearts on Valentines Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Secretary’s Day, Birthdays and Anniversaries; all of which include expressions of love like a hug, a kiss, or a warm embrace, or perhaps a gift.

 

        As wonderful as these expressions of love are, they are expressions born out of our deep feelings associated with love.  But sometimes these feelings can just come and go.  They may not always last unless they are rooted in the level of love that Jesus talks about today in this reading.  He talks about remaining in his love by keeping his commandments, for that’s how he remains in his Father’s love, by keeping His commandments, which result in Jesus giving up his life for us.  His expression of love was then, born out of a commitment, a decision to love, a conscious decision to lay down his life for all of us, which reflected his love for us, because he called us his friends.

 

        And now love is associated with the expression of love for his disciples as friends.  We too, are his disciples, his friends.  And so how do we love?  Certainly with all the previous mentioned expressions of love.  But on a level that really means anything more?  That really sets us apart as friends, by keeping his commandments?  For, therein lies the challenge.  We are asked to put ourselves on the line for the sake of friendship, to be willing to give our all so we can remain in Jesus’ love, to love one another, to decide to love one another despite differences, races, creeds, weaknesses, strengths; to love one another because deciding takes the most effort and is not based on a feeling. 

 

How we feel is who we are at any given moment, and that is the real us at that moment, but how we react to those feelings determine if it results in a decision to love, despite those feelings. The love that Jesus has for us and that the Father had for him is a "perfect" love. We are not capable, as human beings, to achieve such a love on our own merit, if ever. We are only asked to strive to love in such a way as best we are able to. My best may be less than another’s best, but the fact that I try to love, as Jesus calls me to love is all that is important, and so it is with each person, only to be understood and defined by that person as that person is living the commandments that Jesus taught.  

 

        Our human love must be a response to the commandments that Jesus taught.  That is not to say that our response will necessarily come from our own direct understanding of those commandments, for there are many ways that our Lord’s commandments are taught, or that people have come to know His love by.  For example it may be because of another’s person’s own knowledge and understanding.  Certainly, as a child, I did not have such understanding, but through the guidance of my parents and by their love that was made possible, until an age that I was able to understand.  And it has been a life long journey of understanding.  And perhaps, aside from the scripture message itself, our life experience continues to give us more and more opportunities to realize those commandments.  In the end, as Jesus himself showed us, living out the call to love is the greatest way to share it.

 

Deciding to love as Jesus decided to do . . .  is living out that commandment to love!

 

We will only know and achieve "perfect love" in Heaven.

 

© Deacon Steve A. Politte

May 1st, 2016

 

 

 

 

“Come Back To Me"

 

Come Back To Me from Steve Politte on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 

 

The Heartbeat Lullaby

 



Her heartbeat was my lullaby,
As I grew into a new life to be.
She was careful never to hurt me,
Because I was already a living child, you see.

I could hear the voices around me,
Sometimes she would sing in a voice so sweet.
I think that she called herself “Mommy” to me.
She is someone I can’t wait to meet.

Sometimes in the night I’d get rowdy,
And she’d rub me with a soft loving touch.
She tells me that it will be alright,
And says that she already loves me so much.

She speaks to me always about Jesus,
And how He was the One who sent me to be
Her baby that she and someone she called “Daddy”,
Would soon become a sweet family.

Then one day things started changing,
I didn’t really know what to do.
So I just tried to cooperate,
Because I could tell this was something very new.

The sounds were much louder and clearer.
There was brightness and everything was real loud.
I heard them say “It is a girl!” and she whispered to me,
Your Daddy will be so very proud!

What I learned is that they were my Mommy and Daddy,
And it was God who sent me to be
The child that they had prayed for,
And I was as delighted as they seemed be.

On this Mother’s Day, I hope that she knows,
She was the most wonderful Mommy in the world!
To have her heartbeat as my first lullaby,
Made me so glad that I was her Baby Girl.

Written by Karen Bunker
© May 7, 2012
I LOVE YOU, MOM!

 

 

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