First Reading: Acts 14:5-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 115
Gospel: John 14:21-26
"Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me." (John 14:23-24)
"I love you!" How many times is this phrase thrown around in a day (especially on Valentines Day)? This single phrase is said so often, and yet out of all of those times it is said, how many people really mean it? A co-worker might say it after you have helped out with a big task. Or a buddy might say these words to you jokingly. A child might say these words to get out of trouble. This very powerful phrase may be said many times in one day without any real sincerity or meaning behind them. Think of how many times we have robotically said "I love you" to a loved one when saying goodbye? While we may mean it, we are not really thinking of the meaningful words that we are actually saying.
The truth is, simply saying "I love you" is not enough, we must actually prove that we love someone and show it. Jesus, knowing human nature all too well, and knowing how quick our tongue is to say things, but how slow we are to follow with a true sincere action that backs up our words, hits upon this topic in today's gospel. He tells us that "whoever loves me will keep my word." Many of us will claim to love God and to say that He is important in our lives, but how many of us show it? We may be able to fool our fellow parishioners into thinking that we love God, but we can never fool our Lord. He knows our hearts and our minds, He knows all our intentions and our acts, there is no fooling Him. We must realize that loving God is not burdensome or something that should feel forced; it is a beautiful thing that will put our lives into perspective and something that will give us true peace and joy.
We need to love Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength ... not just say it.
Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. Lord, we praise you for all of the blessings in our lives and we pray for your continued mercy on us and the whole world. Lord, we praise you for all that you are and all that you have done for us. Lord, help us to be good faithful servants who do not just say that we love, but actually go out and show it by keeping your word. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.