First Reading: Acts 15:7-21
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 96
Gospel: John 15:9-11
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 might be in you and your joy might be complete.” (Jn 15:9-11)
Imagine that it is a Saturday morning, you are sleeping soundly in your bed. You are comfortably snuggled up in your blanket, you are in a dream like state, you feel so secure and rested. Then your alarm goes off, and while you do not have any where specific to be that morning, it is clear that you have a choice to make. You know that if you get up there are things to do and people to see, or you can stay right where you are and just give in to the peace and comfort that you are currently enjoying. Even though the outside world is calling, in your mind you know that there is no other place that you would rather be than where you are now.
Each of us has experienced this feeling of wanting to remain in bed where we feel great peace and comfort. We feel this way because as people, we know a good thing when it comes around. While we do not always have the luxury of staying in bed and sleeping in every morning, there is a good place that we can remain in every moment of every day; and that place is in God's love. Every day, we have the opportunity to surrender to God and say 'yes' to Him, and by doing so we can remain in the love of our Father. While we can all agree that sleeping in is a pretty nice thing once in a while, it is nothing compared to being in the love of our Creator. There is nothing that we can take more peace and comfort in than knowing that we have a God that loves us so much and only wants us to have the best. He is love Himself, the source of all love; and there is nothing greater in this world than loving and being loved. We have a chance to remain in the source of love, but we must choose to live by His rules, not our own. If we are obedient servants and choose to live by His commandments, then we can live in His love. If we choose to go it our own way, then we cut ourselves off from this life giving love that He offers us.
By remaining in Him and in His love, we experience a life like we have never known. This is because by remaining in His love, His "joy is in [us] and [our] joy may be complete." May the peace and joy of the Lord be with us all!
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you have blessed us with. Thank you for this life and for our families. Lord, help us to never stray and to always remain in your loving care. Lord, we are not deserving of you, but you choose to pour out your love and mercy on us no matter what, help us never to forget this. We pray for all of our priests and religious. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.