Today’s Gospel account has us once again in the Upper Room in Jerusalem on the night before Jesus died. Jesus continues to have a heart-to-heart conversation with his disciples. During the conversation he tells them, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
What commandments was Jesus speaking of? If we look back over his teachings we find a list of certain “Do’s and Don’ts” he taught for his disciples to put into practice. These infuse within us a new spirit, new values and attitudes towards God, our neighbor, and towards life.
Let us imagine that we are sitting in the presence of Jesus and listening to his words, words that have the power to lead us into eternal life.
“Do not return evil for evil. Nothing is achieved by retaliation, except to let darkness conceal the light. Do not judge others as no one knows all the facts in any particular situation except God. Therefore, leave judgment to God who alone knows all things.”
“Do not worry about food, and drink, or what you are to wear, as if these were the most important things in life. Make your first concern to live a life worthy of being a son or daughter of the Father, and everything else will fall into place.”
“Do not store up treasures for yourselves here on earth; money, property and possessions. These are like chaff in the eyes of God which will be blown away in the first winds of judgment.”
“Do not look back once you have put your hand to the plow, that is, once you have decided to follow my way. Move forward in faith, trusting in God, to a new and more abundant life.”
“Do not give up hope when times get tough. Keep on having faith in me and in God. Remember you are worth more than many sparrows.”
“Let the light of your goodness shine brightly before others. The Father will be glorified by your good deeds. Love your enemies, be kind to those you do not like. Doing this will make you the salt of the earth.”
“Give generously from the heart, seeking no praise, and you will receive from the Father gifts beyond measure.”
“Forgive those who have hurt you and you will be forgiven by your Father. See that your minds and hearts are clean, then all your thoughts, words and deeds will also be clean."
“Take this bread and eat it. Take this chalice and drink from it. Do this in memory of me. In this banquet you will find all the nourishment you need to live as my disciples. And love one another as I have loved you. A love that is unconditional, sacrificial, and willing to die, rather than stop loving."
Let us hear the words of Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!” And remember the words of Jesus, “I will not leave you orphans.” We have with us the promised gift of the Holy Spirit to guide, inspire, challenge, ignite, making us burn with zeal for Jesus and living the Gospel way of life.
- Father Dennis, May 17, 2020